The Indiana Senate has approved a bill that moves up the timeline for the governor to appoint the state’s education leader. House Bill 1005 would make the state school superintendent job, which is an elected position, go away in January 2021 in favor of an appointed secretary of education.
The Indiana General Assembly had previously approved a measure for the job to become an appointed position in 2025. However, lawmakers decided to move up the date after current Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick announced she would not seek re-election.
"Students are the key to our state’s future," Governor Eric Holcomb said in a news release. "I’ve long been committed to the notion that, as the state’s chief executive, the Governor should be responsible for administering the education policy that comes out of each legislative session and be held accountable for the results. I have great respect for Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick’s commitment to Indiana students. Her decision to not run for re-election provided an opportunity to move up a good idea four years early. Our students and workforce don’t have a day to lose."
McCormick released the following statement after the Senate vote:
With today’s passing of House Bill 1005, the finish line for serving Indiana’s students with an elected State Superintendent has been determined. As the 44th State Superintendent, and one of only three women elected since 1852, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve. Indiana is home to over 1.2 million students and more than 75,000 educators. Each deserves our complete attention and support. While politics has been interjected into our education, at the end of the day the question should not be, ‘what side of the aisle are you on,’ but ‘are you on the side of kids?’ The 2020 gubernatorial race will deserve greater attention as our students’ futures are dependent upon it. Education impacts all of us. Our children, educators, and school communities deserve a strong, representative voice.
Holcomb made the move part of his Next Level Agenda for this year’s legislative session. The bill now heads back to the Indiana House for final approval.
You can view the bill by clicking here.