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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. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

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