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Indianapolis district hopes to avoid selling empty school buildings to charter operators

Sept. 26, 2022
A reorganization plan calls for closing 7 schools, and a state law says districts must offer to sell empty buildings to charter operators.

Seven schools in the Indianapolis district would under a proposed reorganization plan, but officials are hoping they won't be forced to offer the campuses for sale to charter school operators for $1.

Chalkbeat Indiana reports that the district plans to lobby the state legislature to keep those closed buildings even though state law says such buildings must first be offered up to charter schools or state educational institutions for a $1 sale or annual lease price.

Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said she hopes to work with legislators to allow the district to keep the buildings.

“We want to make sure our buildings are used in a way to support the community and can bring value to the community, even if it is in a different way than it is being used today,” she says.

A bill that would have given the Indianapolis district  an exemption from the state’s $1 law—while also requiring all school districts to share referendum tax dollars with charter schools—failed to pass the last legislative session earlier this year.

The buildings to be vacated under the Rebuilding Stronger reorganizaiton plan are strewn throughout the district. Three of the schools would merge with other existing schools at the end of this school year, leaving the buildings without students. Four of the schools would close completely. 

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