INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 25, 2014) — As parents find new schools for kids displaced by an Indianapolis school closing, Fox 59 looked into the past checkered years for area charter schools.
Flanner House Elementary is slated to close on September 11, after an investigation found that staff cheated on the ISTEP test.
As emotions flared at that school, another group announced it would pull charters at two more Indianapolis schools at the end of the school year. Padua Academy will become a Catholic school and the future of Andrew Academy is unclear, as the city looks for new management.
“It’s heart-breaking,” parent Meagan Stone said.
Stone’s four kids go to Flanner House Elementary. She also experienced the shutdown of The Project School back in 2012, just two weeks before the school year was set to begin.
A year after that closing, Ball State pulled charters from seven state schools, including Imagine East on the city’s east side.
When it comes to charters, nine authorizers are the ones who approve applications and control oversight of the schools.
Nick LeRoy runs one of those authorizers, the Indiana Charter School Board. It’s not affiliated with the Mayor’s Office but does the same work to open new charter schools.
“The principal or the school leader is really the one who’s responsible for day-to-day operations. The board will provide a higher-level oversight in terms of governance,” LeRoy said.
From LeRoy’s point of view, charters are meant to fill a niche and take new approaches or target specific groups of kids.
“One of the things that we’re always interested in seeing is are they providing an innovative way to deliver education,” LeRoy said.
Still, the reality is that not every charter school ends up working out. It’s a reality that is upsetting Indianapolis parents who said they just want to see a school come to their neighborhood and stay there.
“It’s frustrating. I’ve been calling around (to) schools all day long,” Stone said.
Parents of Flanner House Elementary can attend two enrollment fairs to re-enroll their students in new schools. They are Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the school.