Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz is expressing frustration with what she says are continued “political attacks” on her office by Governor Mike Pence. During a conference call this morning focusing on the recently-approved more than $31 billion budget, Ritz said she was “not totally pleased” with the funding formula that pitted “schools versus schools.” House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) says K-12 education received its largest budget-to-budget increase in state history.

Legislators set aside over $470 million more for schools in 2016 and 2017 than in the current biennial budget.

Despite an overall increase in spending compared to the previous budget, Ritz says some of Indiana's neediest schools received funding cuts.

Bosma, Pence and other leaders tabbed the this year as the “education session.” In addition to spending debates, a bill that will remove the superintendent as automatic chair of the State Board of Education was approved. That measure will not kick in until 2017.

Ritz charges that the Governor's only education agenda is to prevent her “from doing the job the voters elected (her) to do.”

Source: Inside INdiana Business

April 30, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In response to the end of the 2015 Session of the Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz issued the following statement today:

“Four months ago, Governor Pence announced that this legislative session would be an education session. Instead, what the children, educators, and voters received were political attacks on the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, authority removed from the Department of Education and transferred to the State Board of Education, schools fighting against schools for funding, and further erosion of morale among our teachers.

“Despite what he claims, Governor Pence's only education agenda is to prevent me from doing the job the voters elected me to do. The Governor has brought his Washington-style of politics to Indiana to accomplish his agenda. Indiana's voters do not support the Governor's approach to getting his way; Hoosiers care about our education system and the supports given to our children.

“The Governor has made it clear that his political and personal attacks will increase in intensity for the rest of this term. Despite his efforts, the people of Indiana know that I intend to continue doing my job.

“Throughout my term, I will continue forward to:

-Reduce the high stakes stress of testing for our educators, students and families

-Advocate for equitable funding for public schools

-Provide support for schools so that they can continuously improve

-Ensure that our students are college and career ready upon graduation

-Work with local communities to provide wraparound services to our students

-Provide avenues to increase pre-k programming

-Provide college and career pathways for all students

-Replace the flawed A-F school accountability system with a fair, transparent system, and

-Attract and retain the best teaching professionals in the country – which is becoming increasingly difficult to do in Indiana's political education environment

“In the last few days, the governor has made it a priority to bring back failed language in bills that had already been voted down. He has ignored his fellow Hoosiers, and worked to centralize control of education in one unelected and politically appointed board.

“In fact, throughout his term, Governor Pence has shown disdain for the voice of the public and an open and transparent government. Indiana deserves better. Perhaps the power of Indiana’s politics will see balance after the 2016 election.”

Source: The Office of Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz

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