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Web letter: Superintendent elected by more than educators

After doing some analysis of the election results for the state superintendent of public instruction race, here are some data that might be of interest concerning Glenda Ritz’s defeat of Tony Bennett.

2,522,900 votes were cast: Ritz – 1,333,433, Bennett – 1,189,464. There are 62,258 Indiana public school teachers and approximately 3,100 public school administrators.

If, as it is being publicly asserted, all of these individuals voted for Ritz, this group cast 65,358 votes. Factoring in the possibility of, say, 1,000 additional votes of non-teaching individuals (employed by ISTA, IFT, state School Boards Association, etc.) and, say, 5,000 retired teachers, that results in a total of 71,358 votes.

Doing some simple math, that means that 5 percent of the vote for Ritz came from public school teachers, administrators and related employees and 95 percent of the vote came from other individuals. Thus, the argument that Ritz’s win was simply the result of the vote of teachers and administrators doesn’t seem to hold up.

Is it likely that teachers and administrators affected the views and votes of this 95 percent? Yes. However, would it not be an insult to those 1,262,078 voters to argue that they were only doing what someone else told them to do? Clearly there are other factors that played heavily in the outcome of this race. It is those factors to which Gov.-elect Pence and the General Assembly need to listen.

JAY HILL Indianapolis

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