Mind Trust lands another $7.2 million from Lilly Endowment

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The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based not-for-profit that promotes education reform, announced Tuesday that it has received two grants totaling nearly $7.2 million from Lilly Endowment Inc.

A grant of $3.75 million will go to support the Innovation School Fellowship—a partnership of The Mind Trust, Indianapolis Public Schools and the Indianapolis mayor’s office—over the next two years.

The additional $3.42 million is expected to help the Mind Trust continue its work with the Indianapolis offices of Teach for America and TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project) to recruit teachers and school leaders to IPS and provide them with ongoing support.

Since 2007, Lilly Endowment has awarded more than $23 million to help support the Mind Trust’s work as part of the endowment’s ongoing commitment to K-12 education

Innovation Network Schools

Beginning this year, the Mind Trust plans to select up to 10 Innovation School Fellows to launch Innovation Network Schools.

At Innovation Network Schools, school-level leaders are empowered to make operational and instructional decisions, including hiring staff, designing curricula and extending the school day and year. The schools have access to district buildings and, if they choose, district services.

In IPS, the schools are being created by restarting low-performing schools, starting new schools, and converting successful existing schools. To date, the Mind Trust has supported the launch of three Innovation Network Schools and the conversion of two existing IPS schools into Innovation Network Schools.

Teacher recruitment

Under the second grant, $2 million will help TFA recruit up to 200 top college graduates in 2017 and 2018 to teach in Indianapolis high-need public schools.  

Another $400,000 will support TFA’s Indianapolis Principal Fellowship program by recruiting and training up to 20 educators to serve as public school leaders for four years. TFA will lead this effort in partnership with Columbia University in New York.  

The remaining $1.02 million will support TNTP, an organization that recruits mid-career professionals to become teachers in high-need subject areas and schools, to recruit and support up to 60 new classroom teachers for two years beginning with the 2017 academic year.

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