Protesters Pack Statehouse in Support of Ritz

Feb 17, 2015

Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz appeared at a rally at the statehouse Monday. Protesters packed the building to express opposition to several bills that would reduce Ritz's power.
Credit Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

Educators, parents and even a few kids out of school for the snow day packed the statehouse in Indianapolis Monday to show support for state superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Icy relations have become the norm among the state’s top education policymakers, including Ritz, Governor Mike Pence, the State Board of Education and the Department of Education.

That all came to a head last week when controversy over the length of this year’s ISTEP+ exam strengthened the tension between all of those parties. In addition, both chambers of the General Assembly are currently looking at legislation that would shift some responsibilities among the group.

That’s why rally participants came out in full force Monday afternoon – to show lawmakers where they stand.

The Indiana Coalition for Public Education hosted the event, which featured speakers from various teachers unions and education-related organizations.

Even Ritz herself showed up, telling the crowd, “I stand with you.”

Both ISTEP+ and state board-related bills will need to move through the legislature quickly.

Next week is both the deadline for bills to pass through their originating chamber, and the first date students can sit for the statewide test.