The party of “less government” just created another bureaucratic layer costing us millions of dollars with the new Center for Education and Career Innovation. The State Board of Education is now under this umbrella group and has been removed from the Indiana Department of Education.
The sole purpose of this group appears to be neutralizing the authority of Glenda Ritz, the state superintendent of public instruction. She didn’t even learn of this until she read the press release from the governor’s office.
Last week state board member Dan Eisner led a unanimous vote to begin a strategic planning process. This means the state’s education goals will be led by Eisner and the board, not Ritz. If you’re not aware, Eisner is the former executive director of the Christel De Haan Family Foundation.
Yes, as in Christel House charter school; the one whose grades were altered by Tony Bennett leading to a huge scandal and his resignation as Florida’s school chief. And again, Ritz was not notified of this ahead of time.
In addition, the state legislature passed a law forgiving $91 million in loans to charter schools, some of which have already been closed due to poor performance. Public schools seek and pay back loans from the state’s Common School Fund. And the state is sitting on a $2 billion surplus, yet refuses to restore public education funding to pre-2008 levels.
Ritz was elected by 1.3 million Indiana voters, 100,000 more than voted for Mike Pence for governor. The voters in this Republican state sent a clear message when they elected a Democrat for state superintendent.
Education reform is not working and needs to slow down before more harm is done to the children of this state. Collaboration with Ritz would be a great place to start. Voting these people who are not listening out of office will be the next.