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The charter school movement began in 1991 with the promise of offering new high-quality public school options for children and families. The charter school design gives educators more flexibility and freedom from regulation in exchange for a high level of accountability.
In May 2001, Governor Frank O’Bannon signed a law that enabled educators, parents, and others across Indiana to create charter schools. Indiana’s charter school legislation is designed to offer students, families, and educators different and innovative choices in public education to reach and serve diverse populations of students. Public school reform advocates have heralded our charter legislation as a strong law that provides opportunities for real innovation and student achievement in our public school classrooms.
One of the unique advantages of Indiana’s legislation is that the Mayor of Indianapolis is allowed to sponsor charter schools in Marion County. In response, the Office of Education Innovation has designed a comprehensive application review and monitoring process that holds applicants to high standards. In so doing, we have drawn from the experiences of successful charter school sponsors and the research of experts from across the country. Through this process, we closely scrutinize charter school proposals to ensure well thought-out plans, the highest academic standards, and accessibility to all children in Indiana. The selection criterion also leaves the door open for applicants proposing to try approaches that are new and highly likely to work with their target populations. Final chartering decisions are made by the Indianapolis Charter School Board, consisting of experienced local educators and community leaders.
We hope to receive applications from promising organizers offering compelling visions and thoughtful plans for improving the educational achievement and lives of a broad range of students. If you believe that you have a fully-developed charter school proposal that meets the highest standards of excellence for our children, we look forward to receiving your application. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Interim Director of Charter Schools Brian Dickey. We look forward to working with all members of our community to continue the charter school movement’s success.