House Dem leader questions amount of time into Bennett grade change



Staff Report

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath questioned the state inspector general Tuesday about the investigation of the “A-F” scandal involving Republican Tony Bennett, the former superintendent of public instruction.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Indiana Inspector General David Thomas, Pelath wants to know what has been uncovered in the two-month-long investigation into allegations Bennett improperly manipulated school grades prior to the 2012 election.

“Given the length of time that has elapsed, have you now developed a specific timetable for the completion of your investigative work?” Pelath wrote. “If so, when do you plan to issue any findings and conclusions?”

Pelath also requested Thomas share the timeline toward a final report, and, if there is no “specific” timetable or “tentative target dates,” asked what’s preventing progress on the investigation.

Bennett’s changes – which were not approved by the State Board of Education – boosted the grades of 165 schools, including a charter school in Indianapolis that had been held up by Bennett as being among the best in the state. That school was set to receive a “C.”

Bennett resigned in July as Florida’s state education chief after the grade changes were first uncovered. He maintained he’d done nothing wrong and has requested that Thomas confirm that.