The Latest: Governor breaks silence on education official
Nov. 21, 2017
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on efforts to remove Missouri's top education official, Commissioner Margie Vandeven (all times local):
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says a failed attempt to remove the state's top education official helps "insiders and bureaucrats" but fails students, families and teachers.
Greitens' statement came after the State Board of Education split 4-4 Tuesday on a vote to fire Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.
The failed vote was the latest in months of effort by Greitens to oust Vandeven, but he has not said specifically why he wants her out. His Tuesday statement didn't name her and included general criticisms about education in the state, including some decisions out of Vandeven's control.
For example, Greitens says school administrators are paid too much and teachers are paid too little. Those decisions are made by local school boards and not Vandeven or the education department.
Vandeven has received some bipartisan praise from lawmakers and wide support from state education groups.
Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven says she's looking forward to attention returning to children's education following a failed attempt to remove her.
Vandeven's statement came shortly after State Board of Education members voted 4-4 Tuesday on the question of ousting her. Five votes were needed to fire her.
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has been pushing for her removal, although he hasn't elaborated on why. He's filled five seats on the eight-member board with his appointees, the majority needed to vote the commissioner out.
But the Tuesday attempt to remove her backfired. One of Greitens' appointees, Claudia Onate Greim, voted against it. All four of Greitens' other appointees voted in favor of it, and the three board members appointed previously had supported Vandeven.
Greitens' spokesman, Parker Briden, didn't immediately respond to Associated Press requests for comment Tuesday.
The Missouri State Board of Education has voted down an effort to fire the state's top education official.
Members voted 4-4 Tuesday on the question of ousting Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. Five votes were needed to remove her.
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens has been pushing for her removal but hasn't elaborated on why. He's filled five seats on the eight-member board, the majority needed to vote her out.
But the Tuesday attempt to ax Vandeven backfired. It was not immediately clear which of Greitens' five appointees voted to keep her during the closed meeting.
Vandeven didn't comment Tuesday. Greitens' spokesman, Parker Briden, didn't immediately respond to Associated Press requests for comment Tuesday.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a new member to the Missouri State Board of Education less than an hour before it's expected to discuss whether to fire the state's top education official.
Greitens on Tuesday appointed Jennifer Edwards, the president and co-founder of advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia Missouri. She's from Springfield.
The appointment was announced shortly before board members were set to meet in Jefferson City. They're expected to discuss whether to fire the state's top education official, Commissioner Margie Vandeven.
Greitens is trying to oust Vandeven, although he hasn't elaborated on why.
Edwards' appointment comes the day after Greitens withdrew another appointee who had said he would not vote against Vandeven. It takes five votes to fire the commissioner, and Edwards could be the pivotal fifth vote needed.