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Ritz Supporters to Flood Statehouse with Rally against Authority loss
Ritz Supporters to Flood Statehouse with Rally against Authority loss
By LAURYN SCHROEDER , Associated Press, Anne Kelly, Katie Heinz / theindychannel.com
Feb 17, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Hundreds of supporters of Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz held an Indiana Statehouse rally against bills advancing in the Republican-dominated Legislature to shift authority away from her office.

MORE | House OKs bill replacing Ritz as board of ed chair  | Ritz supporters launch 'Twitter storm'

Organizers for Monday afternoon's rally include the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, the Indiana PTA and teachers unions.

"I couldn't believe how many people gathered at the Statehouse in support of public education. So it was awesome. It was a good feeling to know that we have that many voters in the State of Indiana that care about what they elected me to do," Ritz said.

PHOTOS | Ritz supporters rally at Statehouse

The state Senate has until Feb. 25 to vote on a bill that would allow the State Board of Education to replace Ritz as its leader.  An expected vote Monday did not happen.

The House last week approved a similar proposal that Ritz supporters say would disenfranchise the 1.3 million voters who elected her as superintendent in 2012.

MORE | Ritz, board say ISTEP+ time can be shortened | Ritz, ISTEP+ dominate 'Indianapolis This Week'

"This is a system that's been working for 100 years, and we don't think it's good public policy to change it because you don't like someone and you're not getting along. We'd love to see everyone get along better, we'd definitely like to see the dysfunction remedied, but we don't think this is the right remedy," said Marilyn Shank with the Indiana Coalition for Public Education.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence now appoints all 10 other board members and they have clashed repeatedly with Ritz. Those backing the change in selecting the chair say it's needed to fix a dysfunctional board.

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Ritz Supporters to Flood Statehouse with Rally against Authority loss