Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Betsy DeVos Awards Indiana $60M To Expand Charter Schools

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and husband Dick eat at the Eastern Hancock High School cafeteria for the annual FFA hog roast fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 during the last stop on the “Rethink School” tour. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and husband Dick eat at the Eastern Hancock High School cafeteria for the annual FFA hog roast fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 during the last stop on the “Rethink School” tour. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

Indiana will receive $59.9 million in federal funds to expand charter schools over the next five years.

Federal Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the award Thursday as part of a total package of approximately $514.9 million in recommended grants for eight other states, charter management organizations, non-profit organizations and state agencies.

In a statement, DeVos says the funding supplements state-based efforts to give students access to more education options.

“Charter schools are now part of the fabric of American education, and I look forward to seeing how we can continue to work with states to help ensure more students can learn in an environment that works for them,” DeVos says.

Indiana will receive $24 million this year out of the approximately $253 million in total awards across the country. The remaining funds are contingent on future Congressional appropriations.

“Indiana is committed to ensuring our students receive a quality education,” says Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This federal grant specifically targets the implementation, administration, research and evaluation of charter schools.”

McCormick says the money will go to a minimum of 50 schools.

Charter schools, just like traditional public schools, receive state funding through a per-pupil allocation. But in Indiana charter schools do not receive local tax dollars for transportation and facilities.

McCormick recently called for increased accountability of charter schools. She says all schools receiving tax dollars should face the same academic and financial scrutiny as traditional public schools.

Her agency collaborated with the Indianapolis-based school reform organization The Mind Trust to write the grant proposal.

The dollars come from the U.S. Department of Education’s Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter School Program grant.

Comments

  • Kit Gerhart

    $60M is funds taken from our public schools. Very sad!

    • lastcamp2

      And we are pretty well powerless to do anything about it.

  • lastcamp2

    More public money transferred to private and corporate interests.
    When Big Corporate owns everything, where will we be then? The private property of the 1%, working for The Man.

  • Renee Brase Gordon

    This isn’t just for school though. There were 20 charter management companies that also received money. And that the superintendent of schools who herself came out of a public school district would partner to write this grant should have everyone up in arms.

  • bengal tiger

    Apparently, Jennifer is either unaware or just playing lip service to the “accountability thingy”. The Sec of Education is on record as not wanting as much scrutiny of Charter Schools (and as we all already know, for-profit secondary schools) compared to ‘public schools’. ……………… as the wealth transfer continues.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education