Elkhart Truth Logo
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ritz champions early childhoo education

Ritz spoke to a group of local educators in Goshen on Friday.

Posted on Nov. 15, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 15, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.

GOSHEN — None of the recent shenanigans at state board of education meetings seemed to be on Glenda Ritz’s mind when she spoke in Goshen on Friday morning, Nov. 15.

Ritz, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, put aside politics to talk about an issue close to local educators’ hearts: early childhood education. Her audience — attendees of the United Way of Elkhart County’s annual Success by Six summit — hung on to every word, nodding in assent as Ritz said that many of Indiana’s children don’t have what they need to be ready for school.

“I’m right along with you in early education,” Ritz said. “Keep working on it — it’s going to be a big topic in this legislative session.”

She later took some time to address other big topics in Indiana education, such as her lawsuit against state board of education members and her conflict with an agency created by Gov. Mike Pence, the Center for Education and Career Innovation.

Ritz said that the CECI is “something I didn’t anticipate having to work with when I took office.”

“There’s a conflict,” she said. “You’ve got two agencies trying to deal with education policy.”

Ritz said that she met with Pence about her concerns soon after he formed the new agency, but hasn’t met with him since.

“I do not know the role of his agency, but from my experiences over the last several months, it is bent on taking over the state board of education,” Ritz said.

Pence has said that the CECI is not taking authority away from the board of education, according to the Indianapolis Star.

On Oct. 22, Ritz filed suit against the 10 members of the state board of education. She said that board members had taken official action without her knowledge by sending a letter to Republican leaders asking for another agency to determine the state’s A-F school grades.

That lawsuit was dismissed by a Marion County judge last week because, according to the Muncie Star-Press, Ritz cannot go to court without representation from the state attorney general.

Ritz said on Friday that a “third party” has filed complaints on the same issue — looking into whether board members violated Indiana’s Open Door law.

She also said that her lawsuit wasn’t about individual board members. Instead, it was about upholding state law.

“I have to speak up about that,” she said.

 From left, director One9, recording artist Nas and writer Erik Parker attend the world premiere of
By JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer
Posted 5 minutes ago
By STEVEN DUBOIS Associated Press
Posted 2 hours ago
 Relatives wait for their missing loved ones at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
By The Associated Press
Posted 2 hours ago
Back to top ^