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‘Top Priority:’ State Board Creates New Virtual Charter School Committee

State Board of Education member Gordon Hendry will lead a committee focusing on virtual schools. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

The State Board of Education plans to take a closer look at virtual charter schools. Members approved a new committee at their meeting Wednesday to review and make policy recommendations around virtual schools.

Board member Gordon Hendry will lead the committee. He says if taxpayer dollars are being used to help virtual schools function, their quality should reflect that.

“We’ve seen literally thousands of students attend these schools and performance continues to be very poor across the board,” Hendry says.

A report from last month found that 75 percent of Indiana’s virtual and hybrid charters received an F rating. Hendry says Indiana is known for its charter school legislation.

“But unfortunately we have this gap where it’s just not quite so effective as it relates to virtual charter schools,” he says.

Ongoing performance issues in virtual schools lead to Gov. Eric Holcomb calling for lawmakers to step in this year. But lawmakers failed to do so during the regular legislative session.

Hendry says the committee will look for ways lawmakers can more effectively regulate those schools, and will recommend any rules for the State Board of Education to consider.

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