Republicans in Indiana still can’t get over the fact that the voters elected Glenda Ritz as state commissioner of education in 2012 and tossed out their idol, Tony Bennett, who outspent Ritz 10-1.

Ritz won more votes than Governor Mike Pence.

Ever since the election, Pence has tried to take away the powers of the office of state commissioner of education and transfer them to the state board of education, which he controls.

Here is the latest maneuver.

If you live in Indiana, please take action to stop this blatant power grab!

Tell your representatives to respect the democratic process.

Here is an immediate call to action for this weekend:
 

The House Education Committee will hear HB1320 at their 8:30 meeting on Monday morning. It creates a statewide student record repository which puts student records and data in the hands of the state board of education. The State Board is staffed by the Center for Education & Career Innovation (CECI), Gov. Pence’s new layer of bureaucracy designed to bypass Glenda Ritz and the Department of Education. According to the fiscal note, security issues and the sensitivity of the data could potentially require the State Board to establish a new stand alone computer system to implement the requirements of this bill. Initial estimates of such a computer system are approximately $3.7 million. Funds for the record repository would have to be appropriated by the legislature in the next budget. Student data is currently in held in the Department of Education and is the key to where federal grants and other funds flow. If this bill passes, it could change that flow to CECI instead of Glenda Ritz’s department.

Let the members of the committee know you see HB1320 as a power grab to bypass the elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and ask them to oppose it.

The members are:
Rep. Robert Behning, Chairman  (email:   h91@iga.in.gov)
Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, Vice Chr. (email: h70@iga.in.gov )
Rep, Vernon Smith, Ranking Minority Member (email: h14@iga.in.gov )
Rep. Lloyd Arnold (email: larnold@iga.in.gov )

Rep. Kreg Battles (h45@iga.in.gov)
Rep. Woody Burton,(h58@iga.in.gov )
Rep. Ed Clere (h72@iga.in.gov)
Rep Dale DeVon ( ddevon@iga.in.gov )
Rep. Sue Errington (serringt@iga.in.gov )
Rep. Todd Huston ( thuston@iga.in.gov )
Rep. Jim Lucas (jlucas@iga.in.gov )
Rep. Jeffrey Thompson ( h28@iga.in.gov )
Rep  Shelli VanDenburgh ( h19@iga.in.gov)

The House Switchboard # is 1-800-382-9842 but is not staffed over the weekend and doesn’t take messages. You may be able to call first thing on Monday morning and leave messages for all of these folks.
 
Please write to all of your friends and let them know about this bill.  We need to network.