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Indiana was once a state that strongly supported its public schools. But now that the far-right has taken control of the Legislature and the Governor’s office, the public schools are viewed by state government as an inconvenient burden to the state.
There is one state official who has tried to protect the public schools from Indiana’s rabidly conservative Republicans: State Superintendent Glenda Ritz. She was elected in 2012 with more votes than Governor Pence. He never forgave him for outpolling him, and he spent much energy trying to remove the powers and duties of her elected office.
Valerie Strauss writes about Governor Pence here. To say the least, he doesn’t like public schools. He was also one of the first governors to celebrate the passage of a “religious freedom” bill that recognized the right of businesses to discriminate against gay people. Under Pence’s leadership, business owners could refuse to see their goods or services to gay people because their religious is against gay people.
Mike Pence is on the far right fringes of the GOP.