Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced today that he has created a new educational agency, named the Center for Education and Career Innovation. Other educational initiatives such as the Indiana Career Council, the Indiana Works Councils, the Education Roundtable and the State Board of Education will now be under CECI, though each will operate independently. Pence said he also hopes the new agency will partner with the state Department of Education, the Indiana Charter School Board, the Department of Workforce Development, the Commission for Higher Education, and the Office of State-Based Initiatives to ensure students are prepared for local industry when they finish their education. The Indiana State Teachers Association call Pence’s announcement a power grab, for the one office of his administration that voters selected a democrat to oversee.
Governor Pence did not share his plans to create the agency with Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz, according to an announcement from the department of education this morning that states “Partnerships require communication. Unfortunately, Superintendent Ritz learned about the creation of this new agency through news reports, rather than from Governor Pence. Superintendent Ritz has met with the Governor on many occasions, including as recently as two days ago. However, neither he, nor his office, mentioned the creation of this new agency until this morning.”
A counter-press release was then issued by a spokeswoman for the governor stating that “Governor Pence communicated that he was considering a reorganization of a number of agencies under his executive branch authority in a conversation with Superintendent Ritz earlier this week.”
The governor was joined this morning by Jaclyn Dowd, whom earlier this summer he appointed Special Assistant for Career Innovation, and Charter School advocate Claire Fiddian-Green to sign Executive Order 13-21 which established the center for Education and Career Innovation agency.