It was a “textbook” victory, as Democrat Glenda Ritz became Indiana’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction—elect.
Ritz outpolled incumbent Republican Tony Bennett who had been the quarterback of the state’s aggressive education reform movement.
“It was clear that Hoosiers don’t want their tax dollars going towards the privatization of our schools,” Ritz told an election-night crowd of party faithful gathered in Indianapolis.
Before Ritz took to the campaign trail to oppose school vouchers, she went to court to do the same. Ritz is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the Choice Scholarship Program.
The Indiana Supreme Court is scheduled to hold oral arguments on the case in November 21st.
“And then, I don’t plan to take over schools, when schools are not succeeding,” Ritz told News Center 16 in an interview. “I want to be sure that we're providing all the support systems necessary to make sure they do succeed.”
Ritz is flat out willing to scrap much of the education reform agenda adopted by the state in recent years—but it remains to be seen if she’ll be able.
“I can reorganize right away and I plan to actually get that going and try to reorganize the Department of Education to have that outreach support. And then, of course, I will need a good state board of education to enact some policy and probably reverse some policy that’s been already in place,” Ritz said.
For Ritz to truly put the recent reform movement into reverse, would take the cooperation of Republican majorities in both the Indiana House and Senate.
“And then I’m going to have to work with Mike Pence of course to see and make sure that we have an educational agenda and not a political agenda.”