Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says school districts will have to continue to conduct referendums to seek tax increases until the Indiana Legislature changes the school funding formula. She made the comments during several stops in Lake and Porter Counties. Ritz told educators at the Hammond Area Career Center that “you have to spend money to get money.” She thinks that many voters in areas where school district referendums failed may not have been aware of the issue. The state school superintendent says she encourages the school districts whose referendums did not pass, to try again during the next election. Knox was one such school. Local voters rejected a property tax increase to pay for construction of a new $16 million elementary school wing. The Knox Community School Board has not indicated whether they plan to pursue the issue again during next year’s regular election cycle. In the meantime, Ritz says she will help the schools in any way she can. Ritz addressed members of the Professional Educators Partnership at Valparaiso University.
Glenda Ritz has been sworn in as Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, making her the first Democrat to hold the position in decades. Ritz, a former teacher, was inaugurated as Indiana’s top education official this weekend at the Statehouse before a crowd of supporters.
Ritz managed to beat out Republican School Superintendent Tony Bennett in November with her campaign against many of Bennett’s education changes. Her primary electoral support seemed to come from teachers as Ritz said she feels teachers need to be evaluated, but not with high stakes such as merit pay at risk.