Saturday, December 6, 2014

Pence Will Propose Legislation to Deny Ritz Leadership of Board of Education

Governor Mike Pence has launched a cynical ploy to strip the State Superintendent of Public Education (or rather that office's current incumbent, Democrat Glenda Ritz) of its traditional leadership of the State Board of Education, but in doing so he also announced the dissolution of the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI), a policy-making group that Pence invented to undermine Ritz's office. "I am aware of the controversy that has surrounded this center since its creation," Pence conceded. "Somebody has to take the first step to restore harmony and trust." And then the olive branch got blasted by his announcement that he would pursue legislation to let the Board appoint its own leader rather than the elected Superintendent. He framed it as an apolitical "good government" proposal: "It is time to take the politics out of education in Indiana – or at least out of the State Board of Education – and get back to the business of investing in our schools in ways that prepare our kids for the future that awaits them." Apparently "taking the politics out" consists of denying leadership of the Board to a popularly elected official and transferring all authority to a governor-appointed board.

Ritz's election represents what politics should be at its best. The people were dissatisfied with the educational policies of the Republicans and replaced Tony Bennett with Glenda Ritz to effect a change. Pence and the Republican supermajority have chosen to undermine the clear intent of voters to continue their policies by cynical ploys like this one.

You can read more about Gov.Pence's announcements here and http://thestatehousefile.com/pence-eliminate-divisive-education-agency-ask-lawmakers-remove-ritz-state-ed-board-chair/18495/.