Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Topics

Topics Charter Schools

A Guide to Charter Schools in Indiana

Background

Charter schools are public schools that aren’t a part of the geographic district in which they are located. The first charter schools appeared in Minnesota in 1991. They were originally envisioned as supplementary to traditional public schools, with districts maintaining a degree of oversight.

The term “charter school model” now serves as a blanket term for schools which offer a range of differing academic programming. Some charter schools were founded to service specific student communities, such as children with dyslexia. Others were created by private companies to promote a particular model of education or instruction. In some cases, charters are run as magnet schools by universities and colleges. Still others are formed by non-profit organizations.

That model has changed drastically over the years. Many advocacy groups now position charter schools as competitors — rather than collaborators — with traditional public schools.  Along with school vouchers, experts often discuss charter schools as part of a broader “market-based reform” movement.

Despite their differences, charter schools do share other common features: They cannot charge tuition or turn away any student for any reason. They are funded on a per pupil basis. They are not obligated to provide a variety of services required of traditional public schools, such as bussing, food and school age care. If their enrollment exceeds their capacity, then the school must hold a random lottery.

Currently only about half of Hoosiers live in a county with at least one charter school. The movement centers on Indiana’s major metropolitan centers in Indianapolis and Gary-East Chicago. Some Indiana towns are 70 miles or more from the nearest charter school.

Latest Posts

From School Prayer To Regional Campuses, Four Indiana Ed Bills To Watch

We got our first look Thursday at more than 150 of the proposals members of the Indiana Senate plan to bring up when the General Assembly officially kicks off its session next week. Not all of them will make it out of committee, but a few of the education proposals are worth highlighting on their […]

Why We Might See More Charter Schools Close In 2013

A parent holds up a sign during a rally to support The Project School. As they marched from a nearby park to the school, they chanted, 'Mayor Ballard, we've got the power. If you can't hear us, we'll shout louder.'

A Stanford University report released earlier this month found students in Indiana’s charter schools outperformed their peers in public school. But some of the schools authorized by Ball State lagged behind those with other sponsors.

Why A Connecticut School District Won't Be The Last To Team Up With A Charter

A Carpe Diem student logs into a computer in the school's "learning center," where each student has his or her own workstation.

We’ve written about Indiana school corporations using outdoor advertising to market themselves and the bitter battle over students at four state takeover schools in Indianapolis. In a state where funding follows the student, corporations compete with charters, private schools and even other districts for enrollment. So it’s hard to imagine a school district sending its top […]

Why The Winner Of The Chicago Teachers Strike May Not Be The Union Or The Mayor

Sixth grade Chicago public school student Natalia Segal joins the picket line outside of Marshall High School on September 12, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. More than 26,000 teachers and support staff walked off of their jobs on Monday after the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach an agreement with the city on compensation, benefits and job security. With about 350,000 students, the Chicago school district is the third largest in the United States.

Chicago students could be back in class Friday after union leaders and school board officials indicated they had made progress during negotiations on Wednesday. Details of the talks suggest both sides will concede some points, reports The Chicago Tribune: Under the proposal, teacher raises would be structured differently, as requested by the union; evaluations of tenured […]

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