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Missouri education commissioner ousted

Gov. Eric Greitens. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Robin Hood Foundation)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _The Missouri State Board of Education has voted to oust Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven, hours after Republican Gov. Eric Greitens appointed a new member to the board.

Greitens has been trying to get a majority of board members to fire Vandeven, but the attempt failed on a 4-4 tie vote last week when another Greitens appointee, Claudia Onate Greim, broke ranks and voted to keep Vandeven.

Greim resigned Thursday and Greitens appointed Eric Teeman of Raytown. The board voted 5-3 Friday to remove Vandeven.

It’s unclear why Greitens wants a new commissioner to lead the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In a statement, the governor called the board’s vote “a major step in the right direction as we work to improve public education in Missouri.”