State Education Dispute Still Open Book
December 8, 2013 — Legislative leaders say they are reluctant for the General Assembly to intervene in the fight between State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and the State Board of Education, which she chairs.
Their dispute seemed to be moving toward resolution this month, until Ritz cited an e-mail last week in her accusation that Governor Mike Pence’s new education agency of trying to oust her as chair of the State Board.
The allegations came almost immediately after a mediation session between the State Board and Ritz that failed to yield many positive results. Yet House Speaker Brian Bosma says he’s still hoping mediation will improve communication and dialogue between the two sides, “I don’t think it’s the right time to make any significant revisions in the Superintendent’s authorities right now. I think we need to find common ground, move things forward and I’m going to stand in the way of any very serious effort to do that at this point. And I haven’t heard anyone talk about it.”
Senate Education Committee Chair Dennis Kruse says he’d prefer to stay out of the conflict…but won’t rule it out entirely, “But if it continues on when session’s going on and it doesn’t look like a resolution is going to happen during our session, then as a last resort I think the legislature may take action on a couple of the items before we get out in mid-March.”
Kruse says potential action does not include removing Ritz as State Board chair.
By Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith