charter schools

Purdue University

There’s a storm brewing between Purdue’s faculty and its Board of Trustees over the issue of tenure.

When last year’s Gallup-Purdue Index showed Purdue faculty have historically been poor at mentoring students, Trustees insisted a metric measuring faculty-student engagement be included in the tenure decision-making process.

Claire McInerny / StateImpact Indiana

Dual language immersion programs are catching on in Indiana’s schools.  The programs have been shown to increase test scores.

There are only a half dozen right now, but the state is investing $500,000 to launch five pilots this year.

StateImpact Indiana’s Claire McInerny explains how these programs function, by starting in one of the state’s oldest dual language programs.

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.

Intiaz Rahim / https://www.flickr.com/photos/chocolatedisco/3442892513

The hunger for preschool across Indiana continues to grow, fueled by initiatives like the state’s On My Way Pre-K pilot program and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s Indy Preschool Scholarship Program. 

Both initiatives are targeted toward low-income families. Momentum is so great that programs are popping up in places you might not otherwise expect them – like the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Purdue University

Charter schools have been one of the most divisive education issues of the last decade in Indiana education circles. But on today’s monthly conversation with Purdue president Mitch Daniels, he calls criticism of them “rubbish” as he explains why the school needs one to recruit more black students.

As Purdue has recruited more international and out-of-state students to balance out its tuition freezes, imbalances in the student body have emerged. Some of them are attendance-based – there are a lot of Asian students and few African-Americans.

Daniel Hartwig / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dwhartwig/3934905914

Ball State University – one of only a few charter school authorizers in the state – says it’s tightening requirements for prospective operators and saying no to more applications.

Ball State‘s charter schools have been watched closely since a report more than two years ago said many of them were continuing to receive sponsorships despite being outperformed by traditional public schools.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

Lawmakers spent a good deal of time this year reworking the way schools are funded – not just public schools, but charter schools too. These alternative institutions saw a pretty big swing in their favor in the new biennial budget, as they now have access to additional money they can use to pay for things like buildings, technology, and transportation- something they didn’t have access to before.

Claire McInerny / StateImpact Indiana

When a student gets an F in a class, they either have to retake the class or their GPA takes a hit.  When a school gets an F, the consequences are harsher.

After four consecutive years of failing grades, a charter school must go before the State Board of Education and develop an improvement plan which could include state takeover, assignment of a third party consultant or even closure.

Indiana Department of Administration

The state legislative session, that has been called the “education session” will end Wednesday and lawmakers plan to give more money to schools through the updated school funding formula. But the money allocated to charter schools is significantly less than what Governor Pence asked for.

Governor Pence made increasing money to charter schools a priority this session. He asked for a $40 million increase for charters.

Currently, charter schools receive state funds but cannot access property tax money, so the governor wanted to increase their per pupil funding.

Lawmakers Could Finish Budget Deal Today

Apr 28, 2015
Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/5039079018

The specifics of a new state budget are expected today. House and Senate leaders have pledged to give legislators 24 hours to look over the budget before a vote.

With the session required to end tomorrow, that makes today the deadline, and House Speaker Brian Bosma says he expects a bill to be made public this afternoon.

The House and Senate proposed about the same total spending, but had slightly different school funding formulas. And Bosma says he’s still looking for more money for charter schools.

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