Glenda Ritz Files Suit… Against Herself?
Yesterday morning Glenda Ritz filed suit against the 10 members of the state board of education. In the complaint she alleges that the members of the board violated the Open Door Law by drafting a letter to Senate President David Long and Speaker Brian Bosma. That letter requested Long and Bosma appoint Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency to perform calculations to determine the 2012-13 A-F grades for Indiana schools. The basis for the suit is that no public notice was issued for a meeting that allowed for this action. All of this was reported yesterday by Niki Kelly of the Journal Gazette. Click here to see her article.
There are a few problems with Glenda Ritz’s lawsuit. First, only the Attorney General is legally allowed to bring a suit on behalf of a state agency. Ritz didn’t bring this suit on behalf of the Department of Education, she brought the suit against the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education is chaired by Ritz. She is essentially suing herself. She also filed suit unilaterally without consulting the State Board of Education. The premise of her suit is that the State Board of Education didn’t consult her before drafting a letter. In other words she is doing exactly the same thing she alleges the board did. We at Hoosier Access have learned that Attorney General Greg Zoeller will request that the suit be removed, and it necessary, will file a motion to have the suit dismissed on the grounds that he didn’t file the original lawsuit.
The underlying issue is with Glenda Ritz and her predecessor Tony Bennett. There have been issues over the A-F grading scale which we have covered here, here, and here. Glenda Ritz has made it her priority to focus on Bennett instead of focusing on Hoosier students. It’s too bad that Ritz has focused on political grandstanding and sharing exclusives with reporters, instead of dealing with the A-F scale directly. Had she done that there wouldn’t be the need for a lawsuit. Ritz has repeatedly shown she has no interest in doing the job she was elected to do, but instead spend her time trying to make Tony Bennett look like a villain. Now she has the task of chairing a board with members that she filed a lawsuit against. Those meetings will no doubt be tense due strained personal relationships.
Once again, Ritz proves she is not cut out for the job voters elected her to do. The 2016 elections can’t get here soon enough. We can then right this wrong. Of course, the Legislature could always turn this into an appointed position instead of an elected one…