INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) and Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Jean D. Breaux (D-Indianapolis) issued the following statement after the Senate Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedure approved a proposal that would diminish the responsibilities of Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.

Sen. Lanane:

“Hoosiers elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz to serve as the state’s chief education officer and execute all duties of the office. Millions of voters agreed Ritz would best represent the interests of their communities’ teachers, students and schools. Today, Senate Republicans led a politically-motivated attack on Superintendent Ritz and in doing so, moved to silence the voices of millions of voters.

“I fail to see the immediate positive impact this proposal will have on our classrooms, yet this initiative is the cornerstone of Republicans’ divisive education agenda.

“I fail to see the how the timing of this proposal suggests it’s motivated by anything other than politics.

“I fail to see how the aim of this bill is anything but a heavy-handed attempt to weaken Superintendent Glenda Ritz by diluting her duly elected powers, mid-term.

“Republicans claim their proposal intends to ease the tension between the duly-elected Superintendent and appointed members of the State Board of Education.

“In reality, this is exhibit A of legislative supermajorities subverting the will of Hoosier voters and injecting more turmoil into the process.”

Sen. Breaux:

“This concerted effort to dismantle the Indiana Department of Education does nothing to advance our children’s educational well-being nor bolster the education policy debate within our state.

“Lawmakers should be focused on assisting teachers by reducing classroom sizes, paying for basic supplies and textbooks, and adequately funding programs – not a political hatchet job being orchestrated by partisans in the Capitol building.”

For more information on the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus agenda or other State Senate business, call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.senatedemocrats.in.gov.

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