charter schools

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.

Wally Gobetz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/3664385777

Governor Mike Pence made a trip to Capitol Hill Wednesday to present examples of what’s going on in Indiana to help all students succeed, whether they’re headed for college or career. 

Pence has long promoted expanding career and technical education in the Hoosier state.

He testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, emphasizing the need for high schools to work for all students, regardless of where they’re headed in life.

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

 

In his State of the State address, Governor Mike Pence doubled down on the state’s efforts to be one of the nation’s leaders in the number of charter schools, saying he wants to even out the funding model so charters get more money relative to their traditional public school brethren.

Kokomo School Caters To Adults Who Want More Than A GED

Jul 21, 2014
Claire McInerny / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Ninety-six percent. That’s the number of Indiana employers who expect their workforce could increase in the next couple of years.

In most cases, they’ll be looking for employees who have at least a high school diploma.  StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello visited a new charter school in Kokomo that offers adults the opportunity to go back to school and earn a high school diploma, rather than a GED.

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