Wed November 13, 2013
Board Meeting Walkout Deepens Rift Between Indiana Schools Chief, Governor
A meeting of Indiana's State Board of Education turned chaotic today, with state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz abruptly announcing an adjournment and walking out.
It happened during discussion of a proposal to allow a new agency controlled by Republican Gov. Mike Pence to be involved in evaluating certain academic standards.
Ritz, a Democrat who is also the board’s chairwoman, said later at a press conference streamed by WRTV in Indianapolis that the proposal was improper.
"Indiana law is clear. The process of evaluating academic standards is the responsibility of the department of education. After that review the academic standards go to the education roundtable and finally to the state board of education for adoption," she said.
Ritz has accused Pence of attempting a “complete takeover” of state education policy through the new entity, called the Center for Education and Career Innovation, or CECI.
"There’s a lot of conflict and I attribute it solely not to the members of the board, actually, but to the CECI staff that have been hired to oversee my agency and how things work," Ritz said today.
Pence’s office says the governor has been working in good faith with Ritz.