Panel backs bill for appointing state school chief

The Indiana state schools superintendent would no longer be an elected position under a change being considered by lawmakers.

Supporters say education policy would be better coordinated if the governor could appoint someone to the position. Currently, the superintendent is chosen by voters in the general election.

The Senate Elections Committee voted 6-3 Monday to endorse Republican Sen. James Buck’s bill, sending it to the full Senate.

The proposal comes after four years of conflict between Democratic former superintendent Glenda Ritz and Statehouse Republicans. Republican Jennifer McCormick defeated Ritz in the November election.

Indiana State Teachers Association lobbyist John O’Neal argued against taking the decision away from voters. He says debate and discussion over education policy benefit students.

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