The State Board of Education wrapped up its two-year charter school loan program last week. But in that program’s final round, only five charter schools applied.
The 2015 General Assembly created the program, allocating $50 million in loans to give to charter schools over two years.
In the first year of the program, charter schools received $40 million in loans – $10 million remained. In last week’s allocations, $5 million went to the five charter schools that applied.
The remaining $5 million goes back into the state’s general fund.
At the SBOE meeting in Muncie, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz said the law mandates the board to allocate money to applicants, but she never agreed with the program.
“Philosophically, I really feel we need more funding to public education and I would have preferred that $50 million to be used in another manner,” Ritz said.
But SBOE member David Freitas said he supports it.
“I believe where there is good education going on I believe that we as a state should support it,” Freitas said.
The money is a loan that must be repaid, and it comes out of the state tuition support that all public schools receive.