An effort by a school teacher to get Missouri’s former education commissioner reinstated has been dismissed by a court.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports Circuit Judge Richard Callahan of mid-Missouri’s Cole County rejected the contention that the State Board of Education broke open meetings laws in order to fire Commissioner Margie Vandeven. Callahan’s eight-page decision was released Tuesday.
Springfield teacher Laurie Sullivan had filed a lawsuit in November challenging the legality of the board going into closed session to make decisions or votes about who should be on the board.
The Post-Dispatch reports Judge Callahan determined the board did not attempt to mislead or deceive the public with its notices and said the public was adequately advised of its meetings
Governor Eric Greitens made 10 appointees to the Board of Education in short order last year until he found five that would comply with his desire to have Vandeven fired.
Those five members have not been confirmed by a Senate that largely opposes the governor’s actions, leaving the board short of the required number of members to conduct business.
A measure in the state Senate from Republican Gary Romine of Farmington would place restrictions on how the governor appoints and replaces members of boards.
It would require the governor to inform the Missouri Senate, in writing, of any appointments to state boards or commissions made while the legislature is not in session. Once an appointee is designated, the Governor would be prohibited from withdrawing or rescinding the appointment, unless the appointee is involved in wrongdoing.
The Board of Education unanimously approved Vandeven as school commissioner in 2015. She was appointed by then Governor Jay Nixon. At the time, Vandeven had been with the Department for nine years.