INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said he will challenge a Marion County judge’s decision to exempt Indianapolis Public Schools from a law that requires schools to sell shuttered buildings for $1 to charter schools.
The judge’s decision was made on Monday in regard to two IPS buildings — Raymond Brandes School 65, located at 4065 Asbury St., and Francis Bellamy School 102, located at 9501 E 36th Pl. — which IPS plans to transfer to a nonprofit.
Rokita previously joined the Indiana Department of Education and charter school interest groups in standing against the exemption of IPS from the dollar law. The Board of School Commissioners for the city of Indianapolis filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Attorney General and the Indiana State Board of Education asking that IPS be exempt from the “dollar law.”
In the Marion County court’s ruling on Monday, not only did the judge side with exempting IPS from the dollar law but ruled that the state could not interfere with the proposed sale of the IPS buildings.
As before, however, Rokita is standing against the decision to exempt a public school system and instead saying that IPS should be required to abide by the law and therefore be made to sell the buildings for $1 to charter schools. Charter schools, while receiving government funding, are privately owned and operate independently from the state school system.
“The General Assembly enacted this law to help enable charter schools to thrive in our state,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We will continue our fight to uphold the law not only because it is our statutory duty but also because it’s the right thing to do. Charter schools provide a multitude of positive opportunities for children and give Hoosier parents greater choice in how their kids are educated.”
Rokita said he has filed a Motion to Stay in regard to the court’s exemption ruling and will soon file an appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals.