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Blagojevich Names New State School Board Members

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Tuesday named seven new members to a revamped State Board of Education.

Chicago corporate lawyer Jesse Ruiz will be chairman of the nine-member board, which retains two existing members.

Blagojevich signed legislation giving him and future governors authority upon taking office to name a majority of the board that dictates elementary and secondary education.

It's a far cry from the Democratic governor's original plan to put the semi-independent board directly under his control.

Ruiz says he has not met current state schools Superintendent Robert Schiller and would not say whether he will be replaced.

He also would not offer an opinion on the long-debated issue about whether to substitute property taxes as the means to funding schools.

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