In attempt to recover state money that two virtual charter schools received for allegedly non-existent students, Indiana has cut off public dollars to Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, according to letters sent Friday by the state education department.
The state education board voted unanimously to try to recover about $40 million from Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy after the state examiner found the schools inflated enrollments with inactive and out-of-state students—and, in one case, a student who had died.
Two school years after a student died, Indiana Virtual School kept him on its rolls and received state funding to educate him. And that was just one example of how the school inflated enrollment by hundreds of students, according to the findings of a state examiner’s investigation.
The tentative agreement between Indiana Virtual School, its sister school and its oversight agency comes several months after allegations emerged that the long-troubled charter network enrolled thousands of inactive students.
Indianapolis Public Schools' interim superintendent, Aleesia Johnson, and the other two finalists will face public interviews on Tuesday.
Prominent Indianapolis charter network Tindley Accelerated Schools will consolidate its five schools to three amid continued financial hurdles that have hindered the organization in recent years.
As the school choice debate emerges as an issue in the presidential election, Bart Peterson, an architect of Indianapolis’ charter-school movement, says the schools aren’t fighting back strongly enough against their critics.
The local districts were among 10 school districts statewide that sought funding from voters to supplement the state and local money they already receive.
Lawmakers’ actions this year, paired with a funding cut, represent the biggest steps the state has taken to regulate virtual charter schools since they launched a decade ago.
Over the last three decades, Indiana’s teacher-shortage areas have shifted from focusing mostly on special education to including broader areas such as math, science, and language arts.
An annual national report on preschool dumped Indiana from this year’s rankings, excluding the state’s fledging On My Way Pre-K program because of a controversial requirement that bars some families in need from signing up.
The district does not support the charter recommendation and is requesting the state board of education delay its decision by a month.
State teachers union leaders aren’t encouraging such a dramatic step at this point, but other local leaders say they want lawmakers to know that teachers are fed up and fired up.
Indiana expects to leave state funding for pre-kindergarten untouched this year due to a slower-than-hoped expansion, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
Indiana is so far behind neighboring states in teacher compensation that it would cost an estimated $658 million to make salaries more competitive, according to a new report released Tuesday.
Aleesia Johnson was picked to replace the departing Lewis Ferebee. She will be the first African-American woman to lead the district.
The district doesn’t plan to choose a new superintendent to replace Lewis Ferebee until after three new board members are sworn in next month.
Nearly two-thirds of schools received As or Bs under the Indiana system, according to two sets of grades released Wednesday.
Rhondalyn Cornett was asked to resign and did so Thursday, according to the Indiana State Teachers Association. In a text message, she declined to comment.
More high school students were affected by grading problems involving this year’s ISTEP test than previously estimated, the Indiana Department of Education said Monday.