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March 30, 2007
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GOP calls for House education chairman to step down over e-mail

DENVER " Republicans called for the chairman of the House Education Committee to step down from the committee on Friday after he acknowledged writing an e-mail saying there should be "a special place in hell" for charter-school supporters.

Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Manitou Springs, sent the e-mail to his counterpart in the Senate, saying "there must be a special place in hell for these privatizers, charterizers and voucherizers. They deserve it," he wrote.

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, asked House Speaker Andrew Romanoff of Denver to remove Merrifield from the Education Committee.

"He has lost the confidence of the committee, and 7 percent of our charter schools that are public schools," Gardner said.

Merrifield and Romanoff were not on the House floor and could not be located for comment. Merrifield told the Rocky Mountain News in Friday's editions that he has made not secret of his "frustrations with the direction charter schools have gone."

Merrifield's e-mail was sent to Democratic Sen. Sue Windels of Arvada, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, in response to the recall election of two members of charter school boards.

The e-mail was posted on the blog.

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The Summit Daily Updated Mar 30, 2007 03:15PM Published Mar 30, 2007 03:15PM Copyright 2007 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.