Missouri's state board of education votes to remove education commissioner

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- It took two different votes. The Missouri State Board of Education voted Friday to end the term of the state's education commissioner.

The vote tallied 5-3 to remove Margie Vandeven. The board failed to remove her last month by one vote.

"Today, kids, teachers, and families won," said Governor Greitens. "The state board of education voted for new leadership for our school system. That's a major step in the right direction as we work to improve public education in Missouri.

Governor Greitens is trying to oust Vandeven, although he has not elaborated on why. The governor again appointed a new member to the board Thursday after another member resigned.

Springfield Schools Superintendent John Jungmann tweeted his disappointment about the vote writing, "Couldn't agree more, saddened by this entire process and what (Gov.) Eric Greitens and these five board members have done."

Governor Nixon appointed Vandeven to the post in 2015. Throughout Dr. Vandeven's tenure with the department, she has served as a supervisor of the Missouri School Improvement Program (2005-07), Director of School Improvement and Accreditation (2007-08), Director of Accountability Data and Accreditation (2008-10), Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Quality Schools (2010-13), and as Deputy Commissioner of Learning Services (2013-15). She earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri State University in 1990.

Complete statement from Governor Eric Greitens on State Board of Education's removal of Vandeven:

"Today, kids, teachers, and families won. The State Board of Education voted for new leadership for our school system. That's a major step in the right direction as we work to improve public education in Missouri. We need to: raise teacher pay, support public schools, and help students succeed. We need to make sure that the money Missourians spend on schools gets out of the bureaucracy—and into the classroom. Our teachers need a raise. If they just got paid at the national average, they'd make nearly $10,000 more a year. Meanwhile, we've got more administrators than most of the country, and their pay is rising more than twice as fast as teacher pay. Some make big bucks—more than $250,000 a year—while too many teachers struggle to get by. And from 2009 to 2015, Missouri fell from 18th to 28th in fourth-grade reading and from 23rd to 32nd in eighth-grade math. According to ACT testing, three out of every four kids who graduate from Missouri high schools aren't ready for college. These problems have gone on too long. We're demanding better. Because our teachers deserve it. Because our students deserve it. I support public education. We added $64,000,000 in the budget for public schools. More money than ever before is being spent on education. We fully funded the system for the first time in years. The bureaucrats took your money. Teachers didn't get a raise. Juniors in high school had the ACT cut. The bureaucrats had their chance. They failed our kids. Defenders of the status quo have been nasty. They harass, call names, and intimidate. Many of them have big salaries that they don't want to lose, and records they don't want to be held accountable for. Well, today things have changed: Kids come first."

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.