Bill lets Indiana governor, not voters, pick schools chief

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 20, 2017

Indianapolis, Ind (24/7 NewsService) - A bill that would make the superintendent of public instruction an appointed position is heading to Governor Holcomb's desk.

House Speaker Brian Bosma calls the package "fantastic".

"Tolling is clearly a part of this long-term solution for every state and the federal government as well, so we'll probably have a discussion about that in six or seven years", Bosma says.

"They weren't my first preference, but I understand the desire to include them", he said. As State Superintendent, I will remain focused on providing leadership and support for IN schools IN order to optimize student opportunities and outcomes. "The Department of Education will continue to work at all levels and across both aisles to ensure the success of Indiana's education", she said in a written statement. Bosma says the final plan will hit that number. If it's signed, the bill will become effective in 2025. Our students, parents and educators deserve consistency and better coordination in the administration of education policy and this action marks a giant step forward.

The House wanted an immediate and total shift; the Senate didn't want to shift it at all.

"To take away the vote of constituents is just a huge, huge concern for me", said Rep. Melanie Wright, D-Yorktown.

Representative Vernon Smith (D-14), who voted against and spoke out against HB 1005, said the move will reduce involvement and decision-making abilities of IN voters.

"One issue that gives me heartburn is that this person will only have to be a resident of IN for two years".

Long said the bill also explores tolling options, and requires INDOT to study tolling and present a strategic plan to legislators next year.

"I would like to give the governor of either party that flexibility to pick some nationally-renowned, off-the-charts person that we all say, 'Wow, we attracted this person?'" Bosma says.

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