INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A vote is expected Monday in the Indiana House of Representatives on a bill that will strip State Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz of much of her authority.
As Ritz recently said the superintendent of schools has been the chair of the state school board for 100 years, but that could soon change. The plan up for vote would remove her from the post.
Her supporters say this hits at the fundamentals of democracy.
“The state is a super majority but Glenda Ritz did beat Tony Bennett we won and any act of taking her powers away or manipulating her position is an act of aggression,” said Justin Oakley, a former teacher. I don’t think they realize that, but they should.
Oakley joined thousands of others, posting messages on Twitter Sunday.
For hours, #iStandWithRitz was the number one trending topic in Indianapolis.
*Story continues below Tweets
“She was elected, she has a job to do, and people want her to be able to do her job,” said Oakley.
Ritz is the only democrat elected to statewide office. And she’s repeatedly bumped heads with members of the state school board and the governor.
The bill would allow the board to elect its own chair. Current law says the state’s school superintendent chairs the board.
But the issue seemed to turn personal last week when republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long questioned her qualifications.
“First and foremost, you know, understand that Glenda Ritz is a librarian,” said Senator Long.
He later said it wasn’t a personal attack, but said he stood by his remarks.
Democrats shot back.
“She knows what she’s talking about and she’s been an educator for almost 40 years,” said John Zody, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party.
As lawmakers consider the bill Monday, Ritz supporters like Oakley hope they’ll remember the message sent on Twitter on Sunday.
“Just let us teach, let Glenda do her job and I really think the legislators need to listen to their constituents on this,” said Oakley.
The full House is scheduled to meet Monday at 1:30 p.m.