The House advanced a bill to the governor Tuesday to make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed, rather than elected position.
The bill as it originally left the House made the state schools superintendent an appointed position beginning in 2021.
But the Senate had defeated its identical version of the bill earlier in session. So that chamber had to make changes in order to comply with its rules about hearing the subject matter again. Those changes include pushing the date back to 2025 and adding qualifications, including an education background and a two-year residency requirement.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) reluctantly went along with those changes – though he says he’d prefer no such restrictions.
“I would like to give the governor of either party that flexibility to pick some nationally-renowned, off-the-charts person that we all say, ‘Wow, we attracted this person?’” Bosma says.
But Rep. Melanie Wright (D-Yorktown) says she’s concerned about taking away Hoosiers’ vote.
“As a lifelong educator, I felt like my power was going to the voting booth when I disagreed with how everything was going, so I still feel like that’s very important,” Wright says.
The House approved the Senate’s changes by a 66-31 vote. The bill, a priority of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s, now heads to his desk.