Today Eric Holcomb and Jennifer McCormick were sworn in at the Indiana State Fairgrounds as Indiana’s next governor and state superintendent.
Holcomb, an Indianapolis native, is largely aligned with Pence’s education policy, supporting the expansion of charter schools and taxpayer-funded vouchers for private school tuition.
When he revealed his legislative agenda on Thursday he listed his main priorities, including making the schools chief position appointed in 2021, doubling preschool spending to $20 million but keeping within the original five counties and encouraging more opportunities for students in science, math, engineering and technology.
“Too many are not participating in today’s economy or getting a quality education,” Holcomb said in his inaugural address. “This is where I will focus every day: On ways to take our state to the next level. To make Indiana a place where people thrive. Where they can get a good, fulfilling, well-paid job and a world-class education.”
It’s not yet clear if his education agenda will ultimately be as aggressive as Pence’s or how he’ll work with McCormick, formerly a superintendent in a small district in Yorktown, near Muncie.
McCormick, too, is still a bit of an unknown — while her policies aren’t dramatically different in some ways from her predecessor Glenda Ritz’s, educators and advocates will have to wait and see how she works with her Republican colleagues and whether she diverges from their goals.
She has called for a shorter state exam, some kind of expansion of preschool for poor children, more support for school technology and internet access, and fixes to how the state distributes money to schools with struggling students.
At the swearing-in, she also emphasized a need for the state to value its teachers. McCormick has spent her career as a teacher, principal and superintendent in public schools.
“We must take care of Indiana’s great educators,“ McCormick said. “To Indiana schools, I’m proud to be one of you and I look forward to working for you.”
McCormick has yet to release a proposed budget for the Indiana Department of Education or specify goals for the 2017 legislative session.
For more on McCormick and Holcomb’s background on education policy, see our previous coverage: