General Assembly removes power from Ritz

FILE - In a in this June 10, 2013 file photo, Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, talks about interruptions experienced by students taking ISTEP tests. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — A bill that puts the power of Glenda Ritz into the hands of the State Board of Education passed the Indiana House and Senate and moved to the governor’s desk.

The original bill was a plan to remove Ritz as the chairman of the SBOE immediately.

The wording of the bill changed over the legislative session to allow the board to elect their own chairman after the 2016 election. Ritz is expected to seek re-election in 2016.

The bill passed on Wednesday first in the House with a 60-38 vote, and then moved to the Senate where it passed with a 31-17 vote.

Democrats argued the the Republican majority abused their powers at the expense of voters.

Gov. Mike Pence said he supports a shift in authority away from the Democrat Supt. Glenda Ritz.

GOP lawmakers have proposed pushing back that change until 2017, but would give the board more power over the voucher program and charter school funding.

Ritz has opposed both programs.

 

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