The Governor wants to speed up a law that would allow him to replace the State Superintendent of Public Instruction with an appointee who is not required to have experience as a K-12 teacher or a K-12 administrator.
Democracy took a hit in the 2017 session. The Indiana General Assembly passed a flawed law taking away the power of voters to choose the K-12 leader and leaving a loophole to allow appointment of someone without K-12 experience.
In the historic final vote on April 18, 2017, the power of voters to elect the State Superintendent of Public Instruction was ended after 166 years. The power taken away from voters was given to the Governor starting in 2025.
Now the Governor and legislative leaders want to take power away from voters sooner, starting in 2021. Identical bills to do this have been filed in the House (HB 1005) and the Senate (SB 275).
This is a bad idea for two reasons:
Contact your legislators to oppose moving this date up and to oppose allowing anyone without K-12 experience to lead our K-12 school system. Tell them that you oppose HB 1005 and SB 275.
The Law Removing a Constitutional Pillar in 2025 Has Flawed Language and Should Not Be Accelerated
Since 1851, voters have been able to elect a State Superintendent who had an independent mandate from the electorate as the education leader in Indiana. Now, more power has been handed to the Governor.
With this vote, democracy in Indiana was diminished.
Voters who want to influence education policy in Indiana had better focus on the race for Governor. If the privatization of public education in Indiana is to be reversed, voters will need to find a candidate for Governor who will be a champion for public education. Voters will no longer be able send a message to change the direction of education in Indiana by voting for a State Superintendent as they did in 2012.
Illusory Language in the 2017 Law Means K-12 Experience is Not Required for the Governor’s Appointee
Under the current law passed in 2017, the Governor will appoint a Secretary of Education starting in 2025. The illusory language of the law detailed below leaves the impression that K-12 experience is required but when the words are examined closely, K-12 is not mentioned. Track the details below:
The 2017 Law to End the Office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction (House Bill 1005): Resurrected from a Decisive Defeat
House Bill 1005, rising controversially from a decisive defeat to be passed and signed, took a nearly unprecedented path to reach the final vote in 2017:
Bi-Partisan Opposition and Partisan Support
Despite discussion of past Democratic leaders wanting this change, the final votes in both the House (66-31)and the Senate (28-20) on HB 1005 showed bi-partisan opposition and, except for one vote, partisan support.
Contact Your Legislators
If you are concerned about who leads our K-12 school system in this unprecedented makeover of K-12 school leadership in Indiana, contact your legislators to say you oppose HB 1005 and SB 275.
Tell them two things:
Thank you for your active support of public education in Indiana!
“Vic’s Statehouse Notes” and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!
ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. We need your membership to help support the ICPE lobbying efforts. As of July 1st, the start of our new membership year, it is time for all ICPE members to renew their membership.
Our lobbyist Joel Hand represented ICPE extremely well during the 2018 session. We need your memberships and your support to continue his work. We welcome additional members and additional donations. We need your help and the help of your colleagues who support public education! Please pass the word!