State Board of Education backs off fast plans to hire new commissioner

By Michael Lindquist

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Board of Education has extended its process for picking a new commissioner to take over for Chris Nicastro after she steps down.

Originally, the board had planned a fast-track process. But in the aftermath of criticism, the board announced a longer process that will run through the end of the year.

The board will accept applications as well as recommendations from the public about what they would like to see considered by the board in the evaluation process until Nov. 21.

The most qualified applicants will be notified and invited to interview with the board, according to a news release. The process will end with a vote of approval from the board, which said it would like to see a new commissioner approved by Dec. 31.

Lawmakers heavily criticized the outgoing commissioner for her handling of the state’s unaccredited school districts.