House Speaker Todd Huston (above) has resigned his $460,000 position with the College Board, the national nonprofit home to programs such as the SAT and Advanced Placement classes, amid criticism that his employment there posed an awkward conflict with his support of legislation to limit K-12 curriculum in Indiana schools.
House Republicans said his resignation was to free up time for his legislative duties and not the result of specific legislation, quoting Huston in a statement released Tuesday: “Since taking on the role of house speaker, I’ve contemplated how I could best balance the tremendous level of responsibility required in my substantial role at the College Board and as a public servant. Ultimately, I decided to leave the College Board family … As of right now, I’m focused on a strong, successful finish to this legislative session. I want to recharge my batteries post-session before considering future opportunities.”
Huston, a Republican first elected from a Fishers-area district in 2012, rose through the House ranks to become speaker in 2020. His annual salary as a legislator is $76,586, according to the state’s compensation database.
According to the College Board’s 2019 tax filings, Huston earned $460,738 in his position as senior vice president for state and district partnerships. He had worked there since 2012.
In an unusual show of support by a House speaker for specific legislation, Huston voted last month in support of House Bill 1134, which would place restrictions on the teaching of “divisive concepts’’ involving issues that include race and set a disciplinary process for teachers who do so. As the bill continues to work its way through the legislative process, criticism focused on his private employment as a senior liaison to schools around the nation.
The Indiana Democratic Party called Huston’s employment with the College Board a conflict of interest.
A statement to media from the state party’s executive director, Lauren Ganapini, read, “Let this remind Indiana Republican lawmakers that their culture war agenda—that includes putting politics in classrooms and targeting innocent minors—has real-world consequences outside of the Indiana General Assembly.’’