Indiana legislature ousts Superintendent Glenda Ritz from role as school board leader

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By Dmitriy Synkov

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“The results of one election shouldn’t erase 100 years of tradition,” read one tweet from the Indiana State Education Association (ISTA), which represents thousands of educators from across the state, after lawmakers voted last week to strip a publicly elected official and educator from her role as chairperson of the State Board of Education.

Education activists all over Indiana expressed their outrage at the bill and support for the State Superintendent Glenda Ritz with the hashtags  #DemocracyDenied and #IStandWithRitz.

Senate Bill 1, passed by both chambers last week, proposes the removal of Ritz from her role as school board leader.  The bill would instead allow the board to elect a chairperson on its own, ending the long-standing custom of the superintendent also chairing the school board.
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“The superintendent has for over 100 years been chair for this board,” says Teresa Meredith, kindergarten teacher and ISTA president, wondering “if the role of the elected state superintendent will be diminished even more” once the bill is implemented in July.

Ritz, who’s chaired the school board since being elected to the superintendent’s office in 2012, is an experienced, veteran educator with two master’s degrees, and at the time of her election, was one of 155 national board certified teachers in Indiana. Prior to running for office, she worked as a library media specialist in Indianapolis’ Washington Township.

Most worrisome among the implications of Senate Bill 1 is the impact it would have on students in the classroom, who may no longer benefit from having an educator advocating for kids.

Serving as chair is one of the responsibilities of the elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz,” says Meredith. “Our members support her because they know she really understands what’s happening in the trenches, and she knows the impact that state board of education decisions will have on students in our classrooms.

The bill, which has been championed by Governor Mike Pence, who is expected to sign it, is set to take effect in July.

Reader Comments

  1. How can you oust someone as an idiotic politician when that person was elected by the people? Espresso when her crime was to disagree with the poor little gov? So voters, sue the gov! Sue the legislature! Don’t let them get away with it!

  2. Pence needs to go!! He keeps taking away from the people of Indiana to give the power to rich conservative men from outside the state…He does not represent Indiana people but who will pay for his campaigns.

  3. Please think before you vote, we thought very carefully when we elected Glenda Ritz to her position because we wanted our children’s education to be the most important focus. Education has been her focus and I believe what we are realizing is that our children’s education is not the focus or even seen as important to Governor Mike Pence. He just wants someone to just do as he says even it is not in the best interest of our children! Leave education in Glenda Ritz’s excellent hands and understand the voters are not going to forget the poor choices that continue to be made by Pence. Look what happened with Tony Bennett. Governir Pence your mistakes hurt our children!

  4. Pence is such a BULLY and a sore loser
    Just because his guy (Bennett the cheater) didn’t get elected, he wants to change the long standing rule.
    What an embarrassment to our State!!

  5. Just another sign that voting is old, passe and on its way out. Disregard what the people think and want. If someone who is capable and can think and is qualified disagrees with plenty o reason and background research to back up her stand, then get rid of her. Forget your constituents. They were only important long enough to get elected (which was, funny enough) done through the process of voting!! This should be illegal!!! Unless she has done something in breach of her position or illegal or criminal she should be left alone. She is serving her population well. Leave he be to do what she was voted in to do (voted in be the operative phrase).

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