Editor’s Note: To read a story about the superintendent bill, read Page 3 in The Bagpiper on March 10.
By Hannah Clere
Joy Lohmeyer is president of the New Albany-Floyd County Education Association.
Bagpiper: What general information do you know about the recent superintendent issue in Indianapolis?
Joy Lohmeyer: “It was introduced by a senator in northern Indiana, basically as a reaction to the difficulties between the previous governor and the previous superintendent of instruction being able to work with one another in a more efficient manner.”
BP: What is your personal view on the issue?
JL: “I would say that several of the main points of keeping it elected would be that it is The education state of Indiana receives about 52 percent of the taxpayer budget. So the governor obviously presents a budget to legislators, but in the end it is legislators who decide how the taxpayer money will spent. So if the legislature is going to continue to decide the budget and then the budget is given to the state superintendent or to the governor, I don’t think teachers see you need for the current elected process to change. Also it is public money. It makes sense that the taxpayers would choose the person who is working with the money.”
BP: Why is this issue being brought up now?
JL:“I would guess that if we went back historically, we would find examples of other places where governors have not gotten along with other elected officials in their states. Obviously we haven’t gone and necessarily changed each and everyone of those as a result of four years where folks just weren’t able to work as well together for whatever reasons.”
BP: What do you believe will happen next?
JL: “I hope that the folks who are making decisions in the legislature will choose to stay with the way this state of Indiana has approached that position. Public school teachers, who are the majority of teachers in Indiana, and across the nation for that matter, have had concerns way before this over the fact that the position used to be titled the superintendent of public education instruction because it is administering public monies that the legislature has set aside for education.”