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State charter schools leader takes national job

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Russ Simnick, president of the Indiana Public Charter Schools Association since 2008, has accepted a job with the Washington, D.C.-based National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the IPCSA announced Tuesday.

Simnick will take the position of senior director for state advocacy and support on July 8. His primary responsibilities will be to help design and implement state advocacy campaigns, educate policy makers and testify before legislative committees.

The national group's key priorities are increasing the proportion of high-performing charter schools and closing the funding gap between charters and other public schools.

During Simnick's tenure, the number of charter schools in Indiana grew from 53 to 75 while enrollment grew from 11,900 to more than 32,000.

“Indiana has shown the nation what is possible in education when you empower parents with choice and educators with freedom to innovate,” said Simnick in a prepared statement. “I look forward to sharing lessons learned in the Hoosier state with policymakers throughout the nation.”
 
Before IPCSA, Simnick was the founding leader of Irvington Preparatory Academy, a charter high school on the city’s east side. He was executive vice president of Coles Marketing Communications and worked in a variety of roles in the Indiana State Senate.

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