In the debate over Indiana’s K-12 education funding, House Democrats are seeking a freeze on funding for charter schools. The result would be “de facto moratorium” on any new charters, insisted Dan Roy, Indianapolis’s director of charter schools. The proposed measure would also affect existing schools (many with long wait-lists) by denying additional funds for charters in the coming years. Metropolitan High School in Indianapolis would see its funding drop by 45 percent in 2008-09 alone. Indeed, if the measure is passed, many of the 36 charters might eventually be forced to close--as charters in the Hoosier State must also pay for transportation and construction costs out of their state per-pupil allotments. The fate of the legislation (and Indiana’s charters) now resides in the state Senate, which will consider it and other education funding issues in the coming days. With Ohio’s budget debate in the offing, charters in the Buckeye State should take heed: starving a program is often easier than publicly killing it. Too bad students and parents would ultimately pay the price.
“An Educational Setback,” Editorial, The Indianapolis Star, March 11, 2007.