Indiana Executive Order 13-21: Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI)

On August 23, 2013, Governor Pence issued Executive Order 13-21 (pdf) which declared that the “Center for Education and Career Innovation” was created. It has a bunch of “Whereas” clauses, which are – in terms of legal effect – more or less background noise. The executory portion of the order comes after the part where Governor Pence says, “I now therefore order.” This order does the following:

1. Says that the CECI is established as a new state agency.
2. Says that CECI is responsible for “aligning, amplifying, and advancing” the work of Indiana’s public, private, and nonprofit educational entities.
3. Establishes the CECI fund.
4. Transfers “funds and other resources” of the Indiana State Board of Education, the Indiana Education Roundtable, the Indiana Career Council, and the Indiana Works Council to the CECI fund.
5. Purports to give the CECI the authority to enter into contracts with third parties.

I’m certainly not an expert on State government funding, but this order strikes me as usurping the role of the Indiana General Assembly. (Unless, for example the General Assembly gave him specific authority elsewhere to transfer these funds.)

For example, HB 1001-2013 legislates the following:

Total Operating Expense 3,010,716 3,010,716

The foregoing appropriations for the Indiana state board of education are for the academic standards project to distribute copies of the academic standards and provide teachers with curriculum frameworks; for special evaluation and research projects, including national and international assessments; and for state board administrative expenses. The above appropriation includes $60,000 each state fiscal year for the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.

Can the Governor step in and just move that $3 million over to CECI? Seems sketchy.

Updated Dan Carden recently wrote an article describing some of the turmoil surrounding the creation of CECI. He reports that “CECI is funded by $5.8 million that was appropriated to the agencies it oversees” and that six of the sixteen CECI staffers make in excess of $100,000 per year.


  1. Stuart says

    So a politician (in this case, Mr. Pence) sacrifices moral and ethical means for an ideological goal, even when that behavior shocks the senses of an ordinary citizen, and he covers it up with BS. He gets by with it unless he is convicted by a jury. When Mr. Pence pairs his innocent look with “I am a Christian” (a cynical statement if there ever was one), the ordinary person has trouble believing that his behavior was an intentional attempt to destroy the structure of governance in the name of his ideology, but by what stretch of credulity can we expect good to come out of evil? Remember that the words “I am not a crook” came from the mouth of Richard Nixon.

  2. guy77money says

    The Mike Pence I used to know has left the building. Where is the thoughtful guy who used to do a very good conservative radio show? Where is the cost cutting conservative we sent to Washington? Six staffer making over $100,000 a year on a board that was created by an Executive Order! Say it isn’t so Mike!!!! Talk to us Governor Pence stop hiding out. We need leadership Governor Pence not partisanship! Maybe Micheal J Fox says it best in Mr President!

  3. Stuart says

    Hasn’t Pence’s outrageous behavior become a weekly example of travesty? Is anyone from the other party listening to this who can find a candidate who will stand up to this sort of thing? Pence is rapidly becoming low-hanging fruit for a person who wants to take it. The candidate only has to report what Pence does on a weekly basis and offer an alternative.

  4. Chris Oler says

    I’m not sure what it is, Doug, but when I look at what seems to be consolidated by this, I do see a picture. For years and years and years, communities around the state have said the thing they need most is for their workforce to develop. This ties into business retention and economic development. This seems to bring a number of closely-related policy entities into one agency. I don’t believe that the “contract-making” provision is over and above anything that some of these boards were already able to do.

    As far as those $100k employees go…well, if they’re worth that much, they can find something in the corporate world. If they’re charged with making a difference in terms of Indiana’s workforce, give them a year or two and see if there are results. After all, the Federal government is willing to pay $85k for speechwriters and bloggers these days.

    • says

      I take your point, Chris. But opponents of the “school reform” movement will suggest that the movement is only incidentally about education; that the primary motivations are to get at the big pool of education money, divert it to friends and well-wishers, and weaken political opponents.

      Approached from that more skeptical angle, this CECI move seems consistent with that less charitable impression of school reform.

  5. guy77money says

    Chris you miss the point entirely! Our kids are being educated just fine. I know in my school the tools are there and the teachers are dedicated. Actually the problem with the school system is the rules the Feds, State and local school boards dump on the administrators and the teachers. There a word that the Republicans never use COMPROMISE! Work with Ritz don’t under mind her. We don’t need another board. What we need is dedicated teachers, parents that care and push there kids. My kids have been at both the private and public schools. We pulled our youngest son out of a private (the same school Pence’s wife taught at before heading to Washington) school to attend public school. Why? Because the school couldn’t keep up with the public schools in technology, special services and the teachers salaries were so low the quality of the teachers had sunk to a new low.By the way Pence’s wife taught art.

  6. guy77money says

    Lastly (on vacation and can’t sleep) I congratulated Mike the day after he won his first seat in the House of Representatives. he was picking up his wife and kids from school. He was a different guy back then. He used to be able to hold two thoughts in his head at one time. I wonder what happened? Is Washington that bad or has he gone off track with the religious right wind wackos? As a politician you should be able to look at both sides of an issue and make a educated informed decision and hopefully compromise with the other side. This board is nothing more then scorch and burn. The Republicans lost so they are pissed and will do anything to undermine Ritz’s power. Damn Mike is this what Christianity is all about? Well then again there was the Crusades which started all that Christian hatred in the Mideast. Hmm history seems to be repeating itself in Indiana! ;)

  7. guy77money says

    Just to clarify for Chris – Pence and the Republicans are the Christian Crusaders and the Ritz and the over worked teachers are the peace loving educated Muslims. Of course that depends on what version they taught you at school. :)

  8. guy77money says

    By the way Doug when I find the time I may start my own blog instead of trying to take over yours! ;) I will put that on my top of 100 things to do this week list! ;)

    • David says

      I hate to break it to you guy77money, but Mr. Pence was never the greatest legislator/ representative in Washington. His legislative record of introducing bills and getting them passed is abysmal, he never really championed anything other than his own name, and his reputation among DC insiders is pretty bad. John Gregg tried to warn us that electing Mr. Pence would do nothing but bring partisanship, bickering, and backstabbing to the Statehouse. Too bad he couldn’t convince that last 3% because if he did, Indiana would be in a completely different place right now.

  9. Jack says

    Just a few observations from someone who spent over 35 years as a “vocational” teacher in a public school. The internal fighting within the various state “education” branches has existed for many years particularly in the area of vocational education. The current situation is possibly the largest of the fights over education within last several years. The situation as to pushing for charter schools is viewed by many as a way to have some turn a profit from education. But a question raises in that the governor has said he is pushing for more vocational education and next to special ed the cost of vocational education (equipment needs, etc.) is very high and will we expect charter schools to go there. Another concern is what exactly is a good vocational program that prepares students for employment. Very often the push seems to look locally and prepare students (like fodder) for specific occupations that benefit the local businesses and economy. Had a situation sponsored by DOE and others to have my department prepare students for a local business. After visiting the business and observing the division of work decided that a 15 minute video on safety (there was a very high risk of injury throughout the business) and another 15 minute video on specific areas would be all the training necessary for that particular situation. The jobs were very specific to achieving a particular outcome. As can be guessed the business had a very high turnover with workers (low pay, high health risk, unpleasant environment).
    Playing politics with education does not serve our state well. Students do not fit well into a mold where one size fits all and any attempt to over emphasis one set of skills at the loss of others does not achieve a good outcome. Our state has had and continues to depend on manufacturing but application of technology (or lack of) has transformed what educational efforts that will meet the need for fodder for the long term future.


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