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Thirty-five teams apply for $1M Mind Trust grants

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Thirty-five teams from 19 states applied for $1 million grants from the Mind Trust to launch chains of charter schools in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis-based not-for-profit announced Thursday.

The Mind Trust will cull those applicants down to three grant winners by June.

The winners’ mission will be to launch charter schools that attract low-achieving students and help nearly all of those students graduate and achieve college success. The Mind Trust wants the winners to replicate such schools at three or four additional locations around Indianapolis.

The $1 million grants will flow from a pot of $4.85 million the Mind Trust raised from Arkansas-based Walton Family Foundation, Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation and the city of Indianapolis.

In addition to the three grants given this year, the Mind Trust plans to hand out one or two grants each year for the next few years.

“If we’re going to start changing systems, we need to flood the zone,” Mind Trust CEO David Harris said when he announced the grant program in October. “We thought that if we could get the next generation of charter management organization leaders, at least some of them, to start a school here in Indianapolis, then if we could get one school, we could get five or six or seven."

Mind Trust will also form a charter school incubator to help the startup teams develop school plans, apply and receive charters, find real estate, hire staff and recruit students.

The incubator concept is a joint effort between Mind Trust and the city of Indianapolis, which Mayor Greg Ballard announced Sept. 14. Ballard committed $2 million toward the efforts, using RebuildIndy funds the city received from its sale of the Indianapolis Water Co. to Citizens Energy Group.

Mind Trust said the applicants so far include team members with work experience for charter school chains like San Francisco-based KIPP and from teacher training programs like The New Teacher Project and Teach For America. Other teams include university professors and former teachers, principals and superintendents.

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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