NewsEducationEducation Policy / December 4, 2013

In Email From Pence’s Education Agency, Ritz Sees Plan To Reduce Her Power

Brandon Smith
In Email From Pence’s Education Agency, Ritz Sees Plan To Reduce Her Power

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says emails from Gov. Mike Pence’s new education agency reveal an attempt to oust her as chairwoman of the State Board of Education. But Pence administration officials say that attempt is going nowhere.

Ritz’s office found the document in an email by an attorney for the Center for Education and Career Innovation, a new government agency created by Gov. Pence earlier this year.

The policy document floats the possibility of removing Ritz as head of the State Board. But the document also warns such a move “may have substantial political fallout,” and clarifying the chair’s role might serve the same end.

Ritz says she is committed to maintaining her role on the Board and preserving her authority to, in her words, “protect the voice of the voters” in the face of a plan to “take away authority statutorily given to the Department of Education.”

But the governor’s office says Pence has been very clear that he will not support an attempt to remove Ritz as chairwoman, a point they say Pence made in a private discussion with Ritz last week.

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