INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the State Board of Education, alleging board members violated the state’s Open Door Law.
The suit, which names 10 members of the board, alleges they violated the law when they took action by requesting that President Pro Tempore Sen. Long and Speaker Bosma appoint Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency to perform calculations to determine the 2012-2013 A-F grades for Indiana schools.
The suit states that no public notice was issued for a meeting that allowed for this action and that Superintendent Ritz was not made aware of this action until after it was taken, despite her role as Chair of the State Board of Education.
“When I was sworn in to office, I took an oath to uphold the laws of the State of Indiana,” said Superintendent Ritz. “I take this oath very seriously and I was dismayed to learn that other members of the State Board have not complied with the requirements of the law. While I respect the commitment and expertise of members of the board individually, I feel they have over-stepped their bounds.
“Since my inauguration, I have worked tirelessly to communicate openly with the Board and the public. I do not take this action lightly, but my obligations as elected state Superintendent require it. I look forward to continuing to work to improve education for all Indiana students in a fair, transparent and collaborative manner.”
The suit is Ritz v. Elsener, et al and it has been filed in the Marion Circuit Court.
Governor Pence’s office issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit: “Governor Pence strongly supports the actions taken by the bipartisan membership of the State Board of Education to ensure the timely completion of last year’s A-F school accountability grades. The Governor is confident that all relevant Indiana laws were followed. Because teachers and schools depend on these letter grades for salary increases, performance bonuses and federal funding, the Governor will continue to work in good faith with the State Board of Education and the Indiana Department of Education to get the job done for our schools and our kids.”