Charter-friendly advocacy groups make endorsements for IPS school board

Two influential groups with strong ties to the charter school movement have both endorsed Hope Hampton over Kristen Elizabeth Phair in the sole Indianapolis Public Schools school board race that’s contested this year.

Rise Indy and Stand for Children Indiana, two education advocacy not-for-profits, endorsed Hampton over Phair in the school board race for District 3, which encompasses the midtown area of Indianapolis, including Mapleton-Fall Creek and Broad Ripple.

Stand said in a post from a parent on its website that the group is endorsing Hampton “because of her stance on pushing for positive change in IPS schools and our belief that she will put kids first in every decision she makes as a school board member.”

The two groups advocate for equitable education and engage parent and community leaders within IPS. Political action committees associated with Rise Indy and Stand raised significant donations for past school board races.

Rise Indy said in a statement that Phair was invited to but did not participate in its endorsement process.

Candidates endorsed by these groups stand to potentially bolster their campaign coffers. Last year, both groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on multiple candidates through their political action committees.

But this year’s election only features four candidates seeking three open seats. District 5 candidate Nicole Carey and at-large candidate Angelia Moore are running unopposed.  Stand and Rise also endorsed Moore and Carey in their unopposed races.

But given that those races aren’t competitive, it’s unclear whether they’ll attract as much interest from donors as they have in the past.

Hampton, the owner of a local interior design company, is an IPS graduate with a student in an IPS high school. Phair, a former state public defender, is the parent of three IPS students.

The 11-member Rise Indy endorsement committee consists of charter school staff and students, as well as parents and community leaders.

“We are pleased to offer our support to three compelling candidates we believe will center the needs of all Indianapolis students once they are elected to serve,” Rise Indy President and CEO Jasmin Shaheed-Young said in a statement.

Stand for Children’s endorsement committee included parents, teachers, and guardians.

In 2020, board members Kenneth Allen, Will Pritchard, Diane Arnold, and Venita Moore collectively received more than a quarter of a million dollars in direct and in-kind donations from both Stand and Rise Indy’s PACs.

The election is Nov. 8.

Chalkbeat is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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