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Amendment To Expand Size Of State Board Of Education Fails

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz currently serves as chair of the State Board of Education. (Photo Credit: Rachel Morello/StateImpact Indiana)

Senate Democrats Thursday made an unsuccessful attempt to change the makeup of the State Board of Education.

In addition to removing Ritz as automatic chair, the Senate bill changes how members of the State Board are appointed.

Rather than the governor appointing all members, four would be appointed by the governor, two by the Speaker of the House, and two by the Senate President Pro Tem.

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, proposed an amendment that would allow the governor and the four legislative caucus leaders to each appoint a member.

Nine other members would be added to the board, too — one from each congressional district.  Those appointees would be selected by superintendents in each district.

Lanane says his plan creates a more balanced board.

“And certainly when it comes to education, politics should not dominate. Politics should take a backseat and that’s what this amendment allows for,” Lanane says.

Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, the bill’s author, says Lanane’s amendment creates a board that’s too large, which would make it less effective.

The amendment was rejected along party lines, as were several other Democratic amendments, including a measure to move the entire issue of State Board governance to a summer study committee.

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