Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pence Playing Politics With Education

The following article authored by Ken Davidson has been reproduced with the permission of Northwest Indiana Gazette

January 24, 2016-Governor Mike Pence took a hit in the polls when he signed a bill that removed Glenda Ritz as Chair of the State Board of Education. Now he continues to play partisan politics with the appointment of Nipsco’s Eddie Melton. Nipsco’s Eddie Melton was appointed to the Board on June 1, 2015. It was just a matter of weeks until word got out that Melton would seek higher office. While Nipsco’s Melton may be a perfectly fine candidate for the State Board of Education, it is clear that he does not want that position.

Melton has recently announced that he will run for Indiana Senate. It is incomprehensible that Pence did not know of Melton’s political aspirations when he appointed him. Especially at this point in time, the State Board of Education deserves an appointment that is more than a fly-by resume building position. The State Board deserves an individual who is committed to working long term for the success of Indiana’s most disadvantaged youth.

Among the primary functions of the State Board is overseeing chartered school funding and school improvement grants. These issues are far too important to be left to one who will be in and out of the office in a matter of months or even a year. This is particularly the case when Nipsco’s Melton comes to the Board with no background in education. While a business background is welcomed on any board, it is clear that there would be a learning curve to adapt that experience to the role at the State Board. Unfortunately for the children of the State of Indiana, Melton will be long gone before he has a chance to gain that experience.

The relationship between Pence and Nipsco is no secret. The Governor has zero time for Northwest Indiana unless it is at an event promoted or sponsored by Nipsco or another large donor. Governor Pence even utilized Nipsco offices to make a state highway announcement recently. On June 30, 2015, shortly after Melton was appointed to the State Board, NiSource PAC donated $5,000 to Mike Pence for Indiana. NiSource is the parent corporation for Nipsco.

If education is so important to Governor Pence and Nipsco’s Eddie Melton, we should ask them why they have not yet visited the Gary Schools to see what the issues really are.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this news report. Call me a former Republican (that would be Marion County RCC inclusive of Cardwell's corrupt Indiana State GOP) who will never ever vote Hoosier R again. Nope, I will not again vote for a Democrat but I am just done with these Hoosier RINO a$$hats who are wholly incompetent to lead... expect to lead their cronies to the troughs of power and funds.

More power to "Pence Must Go!". I am not going to waste the time or throw away a vote on Gregg as I learned I did for a Democrat before- I learned up close and personal that Democrats and Republicans are completely indistinguishable from each other, the truth be told. However, I am more than ever open to buying a blue and yellow yard sign and planting it deep. Pence is so out of his league in the Gov's chair that it is no longer funny but a total embarrassment to the State.

Anonymous said...

Or why ANY legislators have set foot in ANY public schools. I am a Republican and from what I have seen from this particular body wants to make me puke.