Despite three hours of mediation, fight between education leaders rages on

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INDIANAPOLIS – The State Board of Education sat down for three hours Wednesday, but despite members’ comments that the session was productive it took no time for the spars to keep on coming.

Speaking to media just after the session, Superintendent Glenda Ritz referenced a document that she said proved the Center for Education and Career Innovation, or CECI, is trying to remove her as Chair of the Board.

The Department of Education released that document to the media Wednesday afternoon. It is an email sent October 3 to CECI leader Claire Fiddian-Green that outlines policy suggestions.

One of the policy suggestions is to make the Chair an appointed position. The document notes, however, that doing so “may have substantial political fallout.”

Ritz’s comments came after board members expressed frustration in their morning session that it had not been made a public meeting. That prevented members from discussing many of the issues they’ve been fighting about for months.

Several members accused Ritz of ignoring emails that the mediation be posted 48 hours in advance as an open meeting.

“I’m simply doing what it is the Governor suggested to me,” Ritz said in response.

“If you would just start having discussions with us, instead of having discussions with the Governor who’s not here now, we wouldn’t even need to be here right now,” board member Tony Walker said.

Members could not agree on another meeting before their scheduled monthly meeting on December 20.

Also Wednesday, four independent Hoosiers filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education members, alleging they violated Open Door Law by taking action through exchanged emails. The lawsuit is similar to one filed last month by Superintendent Ritz. That lawsuit was struck down by a judge after the Attorney General intervened.

If you’d like to read the CECI documents in their entirety, click here.