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Blagojevich Names New State School Board Members

Gov. Blagojevich (KWMU file photo)


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.

To hear a report from Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford about the new board members, click on the 'listen' icon above.

The new members of the State Board of Education are:

Chairman Jesse Ruiz, Chicago
Andrea Brown, Goreville
David Fields, Danville
Ed Geppert, Belleville
Vinni Hall, Chicago
Brenda Holmes, Springfield
Chris Ward, Lockport

(Joyce Karon, of Barrington, and Dean Clark, of Glen Ellyn, were already on the board and will remain so)


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