Missouri Board of Education’s fresh start brings drastically different mood

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BRANSON MO NEWS: Today’s state Board of Education meeting had a noticeably different feel than the December 1 meeting when former Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven was terminated. Today’s meeting was not awkward, tense or divided like it was in December. Members of the now-functioning board voiced excitement about moving forward. They got down to business, but also shared several laughs throughout the meeting.Missouri Board of Education meeting on June 14, 2018
The panel has lacked enough members confirmed by the Missouri Senate to hold a public meeting. The upper chamber did not give its blessing to five citizens appointed by ex-Governor Eric Greitens. The former Republican head of state designed a plan to fire former Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. The move sent ripples through Missouri’s legislative and education communities.
State Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, the chairman of the Senate’s education committee, attended today’s meeting. Members applauded Romine’s help to get the board functioning once again. Earlier this week, Republican Governor Mike Parson appointed two new members – paving the way for the board to resume business. Peter Herschend of Branson and Carol Hallquist of Kansas City have joined the group.
President Charlie Shields of St. Joseph praised Roger Dorson, who has been serving as the interim commissioner since Vandeven was terminated by Greitens’ mostly last-minute appointed members who are no longer serving.
“We are in no stretch of anybody’s imagination in a crisis because we haven’t named a commissioner,” said Shields. “To the contrary, I think things are going very, very well.”
Shields has given members some homework for the next meeting: gather criteria to use in the hunt for the next education chief.
“I think we need to be very deliberate about this. We need to take our time,” said Shields. “I think this board, between now …



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