Johnson Staying in Mississippi

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State Superintendent of Education Dr. Henry Johnson has turned down a job offer to head the public school system in Arkansas.

Johnson confirmed Monday that he telephoned Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to say he's keeping his job.

Johnson has been Mississippi's superintendent since August 2002. He says he had been mulling over the job offer for about two months.

Johnson would not reveal the salary he was offered, but said the pay was not much more than the $234,000 he earns in Mississippi.

Gov. Haley Barbour saluted Johnson as an "outstanding'' superintendent in his State of the State speech Monday night.

In September, President Bush nominated Raymond Simon, Arkansas' Director of the Department of Education, for the U.S. assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education post.