Governor Eric Greitens Fails to Oust Education Chief
(thanks to Rep. Jerome Barnes for much of this content)
The State Board of Education on Nov. 21 split 4-4 on a motion to fire popular and respected K-12 education Commissioner Margie Vandeven, handing Gov. Eric Greitens another defeat in his months-long effort to remake the state school board with the goal of installing his own choice to run the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a constitutionally independent agency outside of the governor’s direct control.
Since Greitens appointed five of the board’s eight members, Vandeven’s ouster in a closed board meeting seemed imminent. However, one of the his picks, Claudia Onate Greim of Kansas City, joined the three veteran board members to block Vandeven’s removal on a tie vote, at least for now.
The day before the meeting, which the new board members had requested for the purpose of ousting Vandeven, Greitens removed board member Tim Sumners of Joplin, who had publicly expressed opposition to governor’s plan. Sumners had been appointed in September to replace an earlier Greitens pick, Melissa Gelner of Springfield, who had also expressed misgivings about removing Vandeven.
The morning of the meeting, the governor appointed Jennifer Edwards of Springfield to replace Sumners. However, the removal of both Gelner and Sumners appears to have violated a state law prohibiting the governor from removing state school board members without cause and due process. As a result, both Gelner and Sumners showed up at the meeting seeking to take the seat now claimed by Edwards.
While all three were allowed to attend, only Edwards was permitted to vote. A lawsuit is expected to determine who lawfully holds the seat. Whether any of Greitens’ picks remain on the board for long is also in question since none have yet been confirmed by the Senate, and some key senators, including Senate Education Committee Chairman Gary Romine, R-Farmington, have said they likely will oppose confirming board members who supported ousting Vandeven.
Further, the Star wrote an article giving detail to what some of us already knew about the Greitens administration: it centers around secrecy and obstruction. "Deny, delay, set high fees."
Join Us for the Annual Holiday Party
Jackson County Democrats have a lot to be grateful and hopeful for leading into 2018, so join us for our holiday party as we send off 2017 and look forward to the new year.
Tuesday, December 19th
Stockyards Brewing Co
Light food and soft drinks provided, cash bar. Speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. Candidates for 2018 elections are encouraged to come and introduce themselves.
Democratic Clubs and Other Public Meetings:
- Committee for County Progress: Annual meeting, December 7, 5:30pm at law firm of Spencer Fane (1000 Walnut, 14th floor). Guest elected official will be announced shortly.
- House Victory Committee Fundraiser: Tuesday, December 12. Event will feature Jason Kander and several members of the State House. 5:30-7:30 at Travois (210 W 19th Terrace KCMO).
- Jackson County Democratic Committee: Quarterly meeting, November 28th, 7pm at the Jackson County Courthouse, 415 E 12th St. KCMO.
- Freedom Inc Holiday Party: December 14th at Freedom HQ (1202 Brooklyn Ave KCMO)
- United Eastern Democrats Holiday Party: December 13th at Courthouse Exchange (113 W Lexington, Independence) 7pm. Heavy appetizers served.
Annual GKCWPC Holiday Party
Friday, December 8th
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Please join the
Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus
for our annual holiday party at the Simpson House.
We'll have live music, appetizers and beverages.
Please bring your favorite dessert to share.
Optional tax-deductible donation to fund 2018 campaign workshops.
Guests are encouraged.
The Clay County Democratic Central Committee
Invites you to attend
Saturday, Janary 13th, 2018
11:30 a.m. Social & Registration
12:00 noon Luncheon & Awards Program
1 Riverboat Road Kansas City Missouri 64116
Honoring our 2017
* Democratic Man & Woman of the Year
* Clay County Young Democrats
Keynote Speakers TBA
Luncheon $35 (add $15 to Sponsor a Young Dem!)
Table Sponsor $500
Payable to: CCDCC
PO Box 12594 NKC MO 64116
"On the road to Election 2018!"
Paid for by CCDCC, Don Hanks, treasurer
Tables seat 10; special recognition for TABLE SPONSORSHIPS! $500