Indiana

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To Make Ends Meet In New Home, Project Libertas Will Receive Voucher Dollars

The Indianapolis parents and teachers behind Project Libertas, the self-styled “independent-communal-startup” school we first told you about last March, have now moved an entire school three times.

After Mayor Greg Ballard ordered The Project School closed last summer, about 20 families from the former charter held classes for 39 students last year — first in the former Project School itself, then in an apartment building, then in a church-run gymnasium — despite a lack of money or accreditation.

This year, all of that’s changing.

On Tuesday, Project Libertas moved into a more permanent building on the campus of an Indianapolis Unitarian church. Last May, the State Board granted the school accreditation as a “freeway” private school.

The vouchers are part of a solution to a key problem Libertas faced last year: because the school only required parents to pay what they could, the school was only able to pay teachers when it could.

“Our goal was to create a plan for us to be a sustainable school in which we didn’t have to let go of the things that are at our core,” school leader Megan Hughes told StateImpact.

Hughes says the school’s enrollment has increased this year — up from 39 students to 55 students this year. Most of those students are eligible to receive vouchers. She says the school has also formalized its process of collecting tuition from parents, asking those who cannot pay beyond the voucher amount to volunteer their time in the school.

For more discussion of what Project Libertas means about school choice and accountability, check out our March stories on the school here and here.

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