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Mo. education commissioner helped group with ballot intiative

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KBIA file photo

Public records have shown that Missouri's education commissioner provided advice to a group backing a ballot initiative that would end tenure protections for teachers.

Emails show that Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro met with an advocate for the proposed initiative a year ago and provided suggestions about its wording. Nicastro also reviewed a final version of the initiative before it was filed this March with the secretary of state's office.

Her actions are detailed in emails released under a Sunshine Law request by the Missouri chapter of the National Education Association and obtained by The Associated Press. The teachers' union opposes the initiative and contends Nicastro's involvement was improper.

Nicastro says she has no position on the initiative and would have worked similarly with any group proposing a change to Missouri's education laws.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
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