State names second virtual charter school

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The Indiana Department of Education announced today it has tapped a western Indiana charter school to create the second publicly supported online school in the state.

Rural Community Academy in Sullivan, south of Terre Haute, can enroll as many as 280 students in grades 1-8 for the 2010-11 academic year. Those students would do most of their work from home, accessing lectures and school materials via the Internet.

As a charter school, Rural Community will receive state funds for each student it enrolls.

The state’s only existing online charter school, the Hoosier Academy Virtual Pilot School, started last fall. It is operated by Hoosier Academies, which also runs two brick-and-mortar charter schools in Indianapolis and Muncie.

The virtual Hoosier Academy can enroll as many as 220 students in grades 1-6.

Virtual charter schools have been controversial in Indiana. In 2007, two virtual charter schools started signing up students, but then the Indiana State Teachers Association and many legislators objected. They questioned the quality of online education and said it was unclear whether virtual charter schools should receive as much per-student funding as other state-supported schools do.

In 2009, the legislature approved a two-year pilot program for virtual charters, promising to pay 80 percent of tuition for as many as 500 students.

Tony Bennett, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, has been a vocal proponent of virtual charter schools.

”Parents must have the freedom to choose academically rigorous learning opportunities tailored to meet the needs of their children,” he said Wednesday in a prepared statement. “The virtual charter school program is part of an effort by the Indiana Department of Education to offer instructional options to students who may be previously underserved by the traditional education community.”



  • Go charter schools
    Two of my kids are in the Virtual Pilot School and love it. They're getting more science and social studies than they would be in the local public school. We are hoping to plant a high ability charter school in Boone County for 2010-11.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!