Sunday, October 12, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 9: CECI

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 7 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: The Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI) costs taxpayers in excess of 3 million dollars and overlaps the jurisdiction of the Indiana Department of Education. Do you support the continuation of this agency created by Governor Pence?

(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "No, I believe it should be illegal, Glenda Ritz won the election fair and square. Pence just hates that he can't continue Tony Bennetts agenda, when I win and he doesn't like it can he choose someone else? That is a bad road to go down!"

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "CECI is duplicating IDE. It's a waste of taxpayer dollars."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "No."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "Absolutely not. The creation of that agency is entirely political. If a Tony Bennett would have been re-elected, that agency would not exist. Glenda Ritz should be the head of education in Indiana, just as the voters voiced their opinion at the ballot box."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Absolutely not! It is a travesty of democracy. How can all 10 DOE board members, all appointed by our current and previous Republican governors, not provide a significant enough oversight and educational voice for the Republican super majority. Why was this agency created by executive order without the knowledge of our duly elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction? Would this Agency have been created had Superintendent Bennett won the election? I think not. CECI is a reminder that policital patronage (followed frequently by private interests benefiting from public funding) is alive and well in Indiana."

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "No."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "The Center for Education and Career Innovation is an abomination that has cost public schools on so many different levels. Instead of working with Glenda Ritz, who had overwhelming support from all across the political spectrum to the tune of 1.3 million votes, Pence and this creation did nothing to improve public education. His decision on appointment with the CECI only expanded government, which he swore he never would do and siphoned tax money, dedicated and directed towards public education, and shifted it to vouchers and charter schools all the while creating enormous salaries of the CECI appointees."


The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions. (Answers from candidate questionnaires will be added to this page as they are returned.)

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.



  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3

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