The Buzz

Democrats call on Missouri education commissioner to resign UPDATED with DESE reaction

Updated: 2013-11-26T20:30:33Z

By DAVE HELLING

Missouri Sen. Paul LeVota has called on Missouri Education commissioner Chris Nicastro to resign.

In a statement, also signed by St. Rep. Genise Montecillo, he said:

“Dr. Chris Nicastro has demonstrated a troubling tendency to abuse power. The recent revelations concerning her involvement in overruling Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff to secure a more favorable cost estimate for a ballot measure being proposed by a special interest group is just the latest example...

“We believe the faith that Missourians once had in DESE has been shattered.”

LeVota and Montecillo are Democrats.

Nicastro has been accused of working with well-known conservative activist Rex Sinquefield on a ballot measure related to education.

UPDATE:

This, from Peter Herschend, president of the Missouri State Board of Education:

“Commissioner Nicastro’s review of this petition was nothing out of the ordinary. Department staff performed routine consultation on this measure just as when staff consulted on charter school legislation with Rep. Montecillo during the 2013 session.”

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