Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Glenda Ritz Considers Run For Governor, Will Decide By June

State superintendent Glenda Ritz told reporters Thursday the actions of the General Assembly this session regarding education are making her consider a run for governor in 2016.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz told reporters Thursday the actions of the General Assembly this session regarding education are making her consider a run for governor in 2016. (Photo Credit: Claire McInerny/StateImpact Indiana)

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says she will consider running for governor in 2016, something she had previously dismissed.

Ritz says the actions of Governor Pence and the Republican-dominated legislature this session drove her to consider a 2016 campaign not for re-election for state superintendent, but rather the highest office in the state.

“Indiana does deserve better,” she says. “Perhaps the power of Indiana’s politics will see balance after the 2016 election.”

She says after this school year she will talk with her family and make a decision by June.

During the 2015 legislative session, a number of education bills moved through the General Assembly, including a new school funding formula and a restructuring of the State Board of Education.

Changing the makeup of the board was a legislative priority for Pence and the Republicans in both the House and Senate, who drafted various versions of the board in bills throughout the session. Some removed the state superintendent as the chair of the board immediately, but the final language in SB1 keeps on her through the end of her term in 2017.

Ritz says legislation focused on who does what on the board, as well as the funding formula that hurts poorer school districts, pushed her to thinking about a gubernatorial run.

“After viewing the outcome of this general session, it’s caused me to have pause and actually look at how I might want to reframe what I might want to do to move education forward,” Ritz says.

She says certain goals she has as superintendent are hard to accomplish in Indiana’s current political climate, such as attracting and retaining “the best teaching professionals in the country.”

Pence also said he will run for re-election in 2016, and would face Ritz if she decided to run. He didn’t comment directly to her announcement, but said it’s an big decision for anyone to consider.

“I respect any man or woman in this state who is willing to step forward and seek public office at any level,” Pence says.

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