Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has vowed to make major changes to how his state oversees its schools, has named seven new appointees to the Illinois state board of education, saying the nine-member panel must be more accountable to his office and to taxpayers.
The first-term Democrat appointed four Democrats, one Republican, and two Independents to the panel, which had three vacancies. The board will now consist of five Democrats, two Republicans and two Independents, with two current board members retaining seats on the body. The new appointments require state Senate confirmation.
The governor was able to make the appointments because a new law gives him more control over the board.
The reconstituted state board was scheduled to meet Sept. 20 to discuss the role of the state education chief. The governor has said earlier this year that he wants to replace the current state superintendent, Robert E. Schiller.