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Sen. Banks: House Approves Bill to Improve Charter School Accountability

STATEHOUSE (March 3, 2014) — Legislation authored by State Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) to improve charter school accountability passed the House of Representatives today by a unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 205 would require charter school authorizers to submit an annual report that includes the schools’ vision, academic and financial performance, operational status and cost of provided services. This report would be presented to the State Board of Education (SBOE) and Indiana Department of Education (DOE), and be made public on the SBOE, DOE and authorizer’s websites.

Banks said the bill would keep charter schools accountable for students’ education and give families important information when making choices about their child’s schooling.

“Most charter schools do a great job of providing high-quality education to its students, but we can’t let mismanaged schools fall through the cracks,” Banks said. “This legislation would ensure that charter schools are operating at their best and that parents have all the information they need when deciding whether to enroll their child in a charter school. This bill is an important advancement in school choice and gives both schools and families more resources.”

The measure also sets standards for turnaround academies’ management. It requires SBOE to determine, during a turnaround academy’s fifth year of its contract, whether it will be returned to operating under its school corporation, become a charter school or be subject to additional intervention.

SB 205 now returns to the Senate for further consideration. State Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) is the bill’s sponsor in the House.