Indiana House backs moving up appointment of schools chief

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The state schools superintendent would no longer be elected by voters under a bill approved by the Indiana House.

House members voted 70-29 largely along party lines Thursday in favor of changing the superintendent position to one appointed by the governor effective in 2021. The bill moves up the change by four years as the Republican-dominated Legislature passed a law in 2017 making it an appointed position starting in 2025 after numerous policy disagreements with former Democratic Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Opponents argue the move concentrates power with the governor at the expense of voters.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says the change will allow better alignment between the governor and the state’s Department of Education.

Current Republican Superintendent Jennifer McCormick announced in October that she wouldn’t seek re-election in 2020.

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