News Local/State

Illinois State Board Of Education Approves Hire Of New Illinois Superintendent


Anthony Smith will take over as state superintendent on May 1st.

He was in charge of the Oakland, California district for four years, leaving in 2013 to move to Chicago to be near an ailing family member.

But his tenure in Oakland was not without controversy -- he was often at odds with the teachers' union.

The Illinois board's vice-chair Steve Gilford said he had his own reservations about Smith's appointment here.

"I have some great concerns about the decision to change superintendents at this time," said Smith, "and about the process that's been used, and the way this has come about during this period of time, but i want to show my support by voting for the new superintendent and i look forward to working with him." 

Board chairman James Meeks says the Governor wanted a change.

"The Constitution does give the Governor the right to make a recommendation who he wants his superintendent to be and that's what's happening in this case," said Meeks.

Board members also praised outgoing superintendent Chris Koch, who did not attend that portion of the meeting.