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Missouri governor breaks silence on education official

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says a failed attempt to remove the state's top education official helps "insiders and bureaucrats" but fails students, families and teachers. (KTVO file)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says a failed attempt to remove the state's top education official helps "insiders and bureaucrats" but fails students, families and teachers.

Greitens' statement came after the State Board of Education split 4-4 Tuesday on a vote to fire Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

The failed vote was the latest in months of effort by Greitens to oust Vandeven, but he has not said specifically why he wants her out. His Tuesday statement didn't name her and included general criticisms about education in the state, including some decisions out of Vandeven's control.

For example, Greitens says school administrators are paid too much and teachers are paid too little. Those decisions are made by local school boards and not Vandeven or the education department.

Vandeven has received some bipartisan praise from lawmakers and wide support from state education groups.

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