Senate passes bill allowing board to replace Ritz as leader

Glenda Ritz

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Republican-dominated Indiana Senate has advanced a bill that would remove Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz from automatically chairing the State Board of Education.

Senate members voted 33-17 Tuesday to advance the proposal that would allow board members to elect their own chairman, most likely removing Ritz from the position.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence now appoints all 10 other board members. The Senate proposal would shrink it to a nine-member board made up of the superintendent, four appointments by the governor and one appointment each for the Republican and Democratic leaders of both the House and Senate.

Supporters say the change is necessary to fix a dysfunctional education board.

The House approved a similar bill last week that opponents say would disenfranchise voters who elected Ritz as superintendent in 2012.

The Senate votes were as follows:

REPUBLICANS YES
Amanda Banks, Bassler, Boots, Bray, Brown, Buck, Charbonneau, Crider, Eckerty, Ford, Grooms, Hershman, Holdman, Houchin, Kenley, Kruse, Long, Merritt, Messmer, Patricia Miller, Pete Miller, Mishler, Niemeyer, Perfect, Raatz, Schneider, Smith, Steele, Walker, Waltz, Yoder, Young, Zakas

REPUBLICANS NO
Alting, Becker, Delph, Glick, Head, Leising, Tomes

DEMOCRATS NO
Arnold, Breaux, Broden, Lanane, Mrvan, Randolph, Rogers, Stoops, Tallian, Taylor

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