Appointed schools chief bill heads to Indiana Gov. Holcomb

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Photo Supplied / Indiana State House

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The Indiana House is sending Gov. Eric Holcomb a measure making the state schools chief a position appointed by the governor rather than elected by voters.

The bill gives the governor’s office the authority to appoint the head of the Department of Education. Senate changes add residency and qualification requirements and move the effective date from 2021 to 2025. Their version of the proposal failed.

The effort follows four years of conflict between Democratic former Indiana schools chief Glenda Ritz, then-Gov. Mike Pence and Republican leaders in the Legislature.

Opponents argue it strips power from constituents, but supporters of House Speaker Brian Bosma’s proposal say it removes the position from politics.

The House voted 66-31 Tuesday to approve the Senate changes and send the bill to Holcomb, who supports it.

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