Charter School Amendment Puts Dollars at Risk

Despite professing he was concerned over the perception that the House Democrat budget proposal puts a moratorium on charter schools, Rep. Ed Delaney of Indianapolis introduced an amendment today in the House Ways and Means Committee that is, well, another moratorium. 

In short, the amendment states: for a school district in which 10% of its buildings are charter schools, the local school board and recognized authority (mayor and universities in some cases) must approve any additional charter schools. 

The amendment passed 15-10 along a party-line vote.

The impact for the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) system is obvious, says Indiana Chamber education lobbyist Derek Redelman, “This would put an immediate halt to any future charter schools since IPS Superintendent Eugene White has stated repeatedly that he doesn’t want any more.”

For smaller counties with one charter school but few overall schools, it could have the same effect, depending on local sentiment on charter schools – something that Rep. Jeff Espich of Uniondale pointed out to the committee.

What’s more, the amendment puts Indiana’s potential to earn federal Race to the Top Fund dollars in jeopardy.
“This is just another example of House Democrats ignoring multiple warnings from President Obama’s secretary of education to allow charter schools to flourish.  They may think this backdoor attempt is clever, but really it’s very transparent,” Redelman asserts.

“This moratorium puts at risk more than $100 million in federal money for all public schools … we can’t afford that.”