Indianapolis’s current mayor is much more aggressive than his opponent, Democrat Melina Kennedy, in talking about expanding Indianapolis’s charter schools system. In fact, it’s basically the only kind of school he seems talk about. Ballard told the Indy Star about his five point education platform, all five of which involved charter schools.
… tax breaks for reformers, a new charter school incubator, replicating successful charter schools, creating charter schools that train kids in high need careers (think magnets) and petitioning for local control of IPS schools set to be taken over by the state.
This is not a change from policies set during his first term so much as an expansion. He created a cabinet level position within the mayor’s office which focuses on charter school expansion called the Office of Education Innovation. He also oversaw the chartering of a few new schools.
One unusual aspect of all of this? Many of mayor Ballard’s education initiatives are actually a continuation of former Democratic mayor Bart Peterson’s charter school program. Peterson was the Indy mayor who initially lobbied to allow Indianapolis to charter schools. He also established most of the city’s current network of charter school.