Indiana News

Governor and Governor-Elect Meet to Talk Power Transition

Pence says education reform continues despite Bennett's loss


Mike Pence and Mitch Daniels speak to the media in the Governor's office. ( photo by Ray Steele)

Indiana's next governor says he will continue the work of his predecessor as well as that of the soon-to-be-former state school superintendent.

Mike Pence spoke at length after his first meeting with Governor Daniels since his election Tuesday night.  "Absolutely anything and everything we can do to ensure that the handoff is flawless and that high levels of service can continue and that the new administration has every bit of information and cooperation to chart its course and get off to a fast start," said Daniels during a news conference.  The governor was planning on giving Pence a quick tour of the Statehouse after the meeting with the media.

Pence was asked about the future of education reform, particularly since Republican school superintendent Tony Bennett was upset by Democrat Glenda Ritz, who opposes school choice and many of the other initiatives backed by Bennett and Daniels over the last four years.  While Pence says he will work with Ritz, he also says voters gave his party a super majority in the General Assembly.  "I see that as a strong affirmation of Hoosiers' desire to continue to put kids first, and continue to advance the kind of reforms that keep Indiana on the leading edge of policies that will result in getting these schools working for all our kids," Pence said, adding there is no doubt his administration will continue to push a "bold agenda" of reform that "puts Indiana kids first."

When asked whether he would try to use the super majority to change the superintendent's office from elective to appointive, Pence was coy.  "I wouldn't have an opinion. I haven't formed an opinion on that. I do know that was something both political parties embraced in 2004."

Pence also has work to finish in Washington before he takes the oath of office in Indy.  "I don't have any intention of resigning our seat (in Congress). We'll finish our term and be meeting with staff later today to determine what the congressional schedule is, and do our level best to continue to represent our district effectively even while we work through a transition."



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