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Board picks help Missouri governors push policy change

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is facing criticism for his role in a leadership shake-up at the state's education agency, but he's not the first governor to use appointments to enact change. (KTVO file)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is facing criticism for his role in a leadership shake-up at the state's education agency, but he's not the first governor to use appointments to enact change.

At issue are Greitens' recent appointments to the State Board of Education, who in turn voted to fire former Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

A little more than a decade ago, former Republican Gov. Matt Blunt also turned to a state commission as he sought to get money for higher education initiatives. A recent Blunt appointee provided the pivotal vote needed to fire the agency's critical director and approve Blunt's plan.

But frustrated lawmakers didn't confirm Blunt's appointee, and angry lawmakers now say they'll block Greitens' appointees.

Greitens says he often angers lawmakers and isn't concerned.

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