Panel backs proposal to move up appointing state schools chief

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Indiana voters would no longer decide who serves as the state schools superintendent under a proposal being pushed by legislative Republicans.

The House Education Committee voted 10-1 on Wednesday to endorse changing the superintendent position to one appointed by the governor effective in 2021. The bill moves up the change by four years as the Republican-dominated Legislature passed a law in 2017 making it an appointed position starting in 2025 after numerous policy disagreements with former Democratic Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Supporters say moving up the appointment date makes sense since current Republican Superintendent Jennifer McCormick announced in October that she wouldn't seek re-election in 2020, citing conflicts with the state's education governance system.

Opponents of the change argue it wrongly takes a choice away from voters.

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