Chyung amendment would protect schools from Indiana’s One Dollar law

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Chris Chyung (D-Dyer) offered an amendment today that would have repealed Indiana’s One Dollar school law and regulated the predatory practices of charter schools.

Chung's Amendment #2 to House Bill 1003 would have repealed a controversial provision requiring traditional public schools to sell or lease a vacant or unused building to a charter school for $1 before it may otherwise sell or dispose of the building. The Republicans blocked all debate on this amendment.

“This law is nonsense and undermines traditional public schools,” Chyung said. “My amendment would have given traditional public schools the opportunity to sell their property at market value and pay off their debt, or use the building for the community in the future.

“Public schools are a taxpayer investment and selling that off to the lowest bidder is just bad policy.

“I won’t stand idly by as this charter-privatization movement broadens in Indiana, especially as the current law’s constitutionality is being challenged by the hardworking educators in West Lafayette, Hammond and Lake Ridge School districts.”

The legislation, originally passed in 2011, has been exploited by charter operators potentially acquiring schools like Happy Hollow Elementary in West Lafayette for just $1. Since charter schools don’t have the same obligations to sell or lease, the constitutionality is currently being debated in the state’s court system.

This isn’t the first time House Democrats have tried to tackle this issue. Last year, both State Representative Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) and State Representative Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) did their best to put a stop to Indiana’s One Dollar law.

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