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Bill Would Increase Opportunity for Charter School Creation

The Indiana Senate Education Committee heard hours of testimony Wednesday on a bill which would increase the opportunity for new charter school creation. Speaker Brian Bosma, the bill’s author, said charter schools are not a cure-all, but do offer choice and possible change.

“Charter school option, again, no silver bullet. But it is an opportunity for innovation,” said Bosma.

Indiana State Teachers Association representative Gail Zeheralis spoke in opposition to the bill, saying at a time when schools are struggling with resources, the state doesn’t need even more schools.

“House Bill 1002 would, by the letter of its language, allow for pretty broad expansion of new charter schools, which would take resources away existing schools,” saod Zeheralis.

But Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said there needs to be a shift in thinking when it comes to school funding.

“This is about, not taking money away, but thinking of it as funding the education of children,” said Bennett. “I think that is the basic premise that we enter into when this discussion begins to unfold.”

The committee will consider amendments and vote on the bill next week.

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