The closer we get to Nov. 4, the more aggressive the Democrats are getting against the Pence administration, and, this week especially, his Center for Education & Career Innovation.
At a campaign event in Allen County Wednesday, State Auditor candidate Mike Claytor claimed CECI’s existence costs taxpayers $14 million and an even larger claim about CECI’s finances. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette’s Jamie Duffy and Niki Kelly have more from Claytor’s event:
“They’re the only agency that doesn’t have to revert,” Claytor said. “It’s a shell game. The people (who are working for the CECI) are not being paid from the agency they are working,” adding that the costs of those 21 people amount to $14 million.
CECI itself doesn’t have a line item in the current state budget because it didn’t exist when the budget was passed. But the agencies under CECI did revert money.
The State Board of Education returned $1.7 million, and the Indiana Works Council sent back nearly $150,000. The agencies CECI oversees reverted $2.18 million – or 21 percent of their appropriation.
Gov. Pence created CECI by executive order in 2013, and, since then, state superintendent Glenda Ritz and the organization have been at odds, because Ritz sees the creation of the agency as an abuse of power by Pence.
Ritz continued bashing CECI on the Just Let Me Teach podcast Wednesday, and when host Justin Oakley asks her why she and the rest of the State Board of Education can’t get along, she blamed it on CECI.
“CECI, I really feel, is orchestrating how they want board members to vote,” Ritz said. “And that causes the conflict between myself and what I do at the Department of Education and the board that I serve on.”