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    Education official will work as consultant

    Killins resigned amidstate inquiry

    Early Education and Care Commissioner Sherri Killins, who resigned from her $200,000-a-year post Monday, will continue working for the department in a consulting role for up to two months and will be compensated for her work to assist the transition to a new commissioner, according to the Patrick administration.

    Killins offered her resignation after questions were raised about her time commitment to a superintendent training intern­ship with Ware schools. Patrick defended ­Killins Monday, indicating that an initial ­inquiry has produced no evidence she did anything wrong.

    Education Secretary Matt Malone is expected to complete his investigation in coming days.

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    Though Patrick said Killins had done a terrific job as commissioner of early education, the governor would not offer a reason for her resignation, ­except to say that she was not forced out. Killins told department staff in an e-mail announc­ing her departure that it was a “good time” to step aside for strategic reasons.

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    “My goal has been to ensure all children in Massachusetts have access to high-quality early learning experiences in both the formal and informal environments,’’ she said. “My presence throughout the state is a reflection of my tireless effort in that regard.’’

    Matt Wilder, a spokesman for the Executive Office of Education, said that if Killins ­accepts a new job in the next two months her consultancy and compensation will be canceled, but he added that she will be entitled to payment for accrued vacation time.