Indiana passes, signs charter school expansion law

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

School choice, pro-charter school bills are making their way in red states. One recent success was in the Hoosier State of Indiana, where Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a charter school funding law on May 5.

WISH reported the news of the bill’s signing.

The new law, known as Senate Bill 391, apparently “shifts tax revenues from school corporations to charter schools when property values increase over a certain threshold.” It also requires school corporations “to include charter schools in any referendum that would levy an additional tax.”

Indiana’s one-dollar law remains intact, which requires public schools to charge charter schools one dollar when public schools hand over unused property to charter schools.

Co-author of the bill, Republican State Senator Linda Rogers said, “Charter schools are public schools just like our traditional public schools. Currently, they are not allowed by law to hold a referendum so this provides them an opportunity to share proportionally.”

Critics of the bill claimed that the bill discourages voter participation in referendum and said that charter schools are not as accountable as public schools. State Representative Ed Delaney, a Democrat, said, “I refer to it as the education industrial complex, there’s a whole movement with not-for-profits, political groups, local charter schools that work constantly to tell us how wonderful they are and how bad the traditional public schools are.”

So far, Texas, Iowa, and Florida have passed pro-charter school legislation in this year’s session, which upset teachers’ unions who may have become used to taxpayers dollars padding their union coffers. With competition in the education marketplace, teachers’ unions and public schools must demonstrate their worth and value to parents because education is no longer a monopoly in several red states.