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Former Star reporter to head new education website

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A not-for-profit and “non-ideological” education news site focusing on Indiana is set to launch early next year, headed by former Indianapolis Star reporter Scott Elliott.

Indianapolis-based Chalkbeat Indiana will be an outpost of the Education News Network, which consists of the online news site EdNews Colorado as well as Gotham Schools, a site that reports on New York City public schools.

Elliott, who will serve as editor, said he hopes to hire three reporters by early next year. They’ll cover institutions including Indianapolis Public Schools, the Indiana General Assembly and the State Board of Education. The anticipated audience will range from educators to policymakers to the general public.

Elliott joined the Star in 2011 as “education reform” reporter while the state embarked on several education initiatives. It now has the broadest school voucher system in the country. Indianapolis has an ever-expanding universe of charter schools.

Elliott left the Star this month to head up Chalkbeat Indiana. His first day on the job was Monday.

Education News Network is raising funds for Chalkbeat Indiana, and already has lassoed a two-year grant totaling $115,000 from the Indianapolis-based higher education advocacy group Lumina Foundation.

According to Lumina’s grant, ENN received 20 percent of its revenue last year from newsletter and website sponsorships, job board ads, event sponsorships and other such sources. Individual donations and foundation grants make up the rest.

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