Indiana Schools Not Likely To Be Affected By Washington Charter School Ruling

Sep 8, 2015

Credit Henry de Saussure Copeland / https://www.flickr.com/photos/hdescopeland/2773856754/

A court ruling blocking charter schools in Washington State isn't expected to affect Indiana charters.

The Washington Supreme Court ruled Friday that charters can't be funded like public schools because their boards are appointed, not elected.

Ohio-based Carpe Diem Learning Systems CEO Bob Sommers says charters' public status in most states, including Indiana, is already settled law -- Washington established its charters later than most states, and has what Sommers calls a quirk in its state constitution which resulted in the courtroom defeat.

“Most states fought the wars a decade to 15 years ago and kind of legitimized – it’s kind of like a lot of other things in education, they’ve been tested significantly in Ohio, Indiana,” Sommers says.

Indiana has no requirement that school boards be elected -- in fact, 12 traditional public school systems still have appointed boards.

Carpe Diem opened two new charter schools in Indianapolis last month, giving it three schools in the city. The company also operates charters in Cincinnati and San Antonio.