You may not have heard the latest in the scandal concerning Indiana's education system. That's because it doesn't involve Tony Bennett, Mitch Daniels, Governor Pence or any Republican that we know of at this point. This scandal involves the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Education Association (NEA) and could spell trouble for now Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz.
The ISTA and the NEA are accused of selling health plans to 27 school corporations in Indiana, which were unregistered securities. According to the Secretary of State's office these securities were misrepresented and the funds were never invested, rather they were commingled to cover deficits in their long-term disability plan. The trouble for Superintendent Ritz? She sat on the board of the ISTA and was head of the Washington Township Educators Union in Indianapolis during the time all this took place. As head of Indiana schools now, Ritz has several questions that need to be answered. What did she know and when did she know it? What, if any, was her involvement in this phony investment scheme? The problem is, they aren't being asked. An attempt was made to contact the Superintendent myself to ask these questions, but received no response.
Superintendent Ritz defeated Tony Bennett (who is being maligned for his involvement in changing the grading scale system for a charter school to allow them to receive an A) running partly on a campaign against charter schools alleging they operate at the financial peril of public schools and promising to listen to and take care of Indiana teachers. This fraud cost Indiana teachers approximately $27 million dollars (but don't fret they reached a sweet deal where $14 million of that is to be paid back). It looks like the ISTA, NEA and possibly Glenda Ritz, have caused more financial harm to Indiana schools and teachers than charter schools ever have. If this is the way she plans on listening to and taking care of our teachers, I say 'No thank you.' The sad truth is, some of our teachers will continue to follow the union marching orders and still support her kind of help.