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:
FOR THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
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.