July 24, 2014

 

The State Board of Education will convene an Ad Hoc committee on board operating procedures tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in the Indiana Government Center. Superintendent Ritz and board members Andrea Neal and Troy Albert, selected by Ritz, will meet to discuss changes to board rules and procedures.

 

The state board approved a resolution calling for the establishment of the Ad Hoc committee at its July 9th businesses meeting – the latest power grab against DOE and Ritz in what devolved into a heated display of political maneuvering.

 

The resolution requires the committee to act on the following:

  • State Board staff shall determine the date, time and location of meetings, including special meetings and committees (undermining Ritz’s role as chair).
  • “Clarification” of the appeals process under board procedures (Resulting from clashes over Ritz’s rulings as Chair at previous meetings).
  • Specification on steps to resolve disputes over interpretation of operating procedures (a political move to assert that Ritz has not been following proper rules).  
    • This would allow the board to, meeting-by-meeting, add agenda items on the day of the meeting, giving the public absolutely no notice about issues coming up. Also, the board could flip-flop its interpretations of operating procedures from meeting to meeting which basically means there is no procedure at all on which the public can count.

Ritz confronted board members at the last meeting for making changes to board rules every time they don’t get their way. A mediator was called in late last year to address this very problem, and now the board is at it again.

 

Board members Andrea Neal and Troy Albert, who will serve on the Ad Hoc committee, voted against the resolution.

 

We commend Neal and Albert for putting politics aside and recognizing how dangerously drafted the operating procedures resolution is in not fostering orderly conduct at meetings and meaningful public input and debate.

 

Stay tuned for updates. The meeting will be open to the public and available on the State Board’s live feed here. Follow ISTA on Twitter for live coverage at the meeting.