INDIANAPOLIS—In a surprise power grab today, Gov. Mike Pence released information that he has created a new agency called the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI).
Pence claims that the Center will improve collaboration among Indiana’s public, private and non-profit education and workforce partners by aligning education and career and workforce training efforts. The governor’s release states that: “The agency will proactively engage and collaborate with a number of valuable partners in state government including the Department of Education, the Indiana Charter School Board, the Department of Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education and the Office of State-Based Initiatives. The Indiana Career Council, the Indiana Works Councils, the Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education, though functioning independently, will exist as part of the new agency.” Yet the Indiana Department of Education was not contacted by the governor about creation of the agency even though the agency appears to be absorbing various functions of the IDOE and thereby reducing the authority of newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz.
Following Pence’s announcement, a news release from the IDOE said: “Partnerships require communication. Unfortunately, Superintendent Ritz learned about the creation of this new agency—the impact on taxpayers yet unknown—through news reports,
rather than from Gov. Pence. Superintendent Ritz has met with the governor on many occasions, including as recently as two days ago. However, neither he, nor his office, mentioned the creation of this new agency until this morning.”
“Like Superintendent Ritz, ISTA was dismayed by the announcement of this agency today,” said ISTA President Teresa Meredith. “We already have in place a Department of Education that works. ISTA is disappointed that the governor would choose to disregard the input of Superintendent Ritz and thousands of public school professionals.
“We are all in this together. Last November many of our members and the voters of the state voted for a change in direction for education and 1.3 million Hoosiers said that they trusted Glenda Ritz to run the Department of Education,” said Meredith. “And while teachers are always aware of the lessons they model for children, evidently some governors and their political appointees are not.”
For the full release from Gov. Pence’s office, go to:
For the full release from Superintendent Ritz, go to: