Indiana Senate votes down bill to appoint schools chief

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate unexpectedly voted down a bill to make the state’s elected schools superintendent a position appointed by the governor.

Kokomo Republican state Sen. James Buck’s bill failed Monday on a 23-26 vote. The House was scheduled to take up a similar measure later, but Speaker Brian Bosma said the Senate bill’s defeat “raises issues.”

Democrats and some Republicans cautioned it will take choice away from voters and concentrate power in the governor’s office.

Supporters, including Republican state Sen. Brandt Hershman, said opposition amounted to “embracing the status quo as the only reasonable way of doing things.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb says making the superintendent an appointed position is a priority. The measure would take effect in four years and would not shorten the term of current Superintendent Jennifer McCormick.

“I firmly believe that making the state superintendent of public instruction an appointed position is a long-overdue, widely-supported and common-sense change that will benefit students, educators and our state in the future—and it’s a change I will continue to support,” Holcomb said in a statement.

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