GiaQuinta: Legislature must correct virtual charter mess, starting now

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) today issued the following statement on the scandal facing virtual charter schools in the state:

“The problems surrounding the virtual charter school industry in Indiana may have come into view for many Hoosiers at the State Board of Education meeting Wednesday, but there have been warning signs on the horizon for quite a while now. Media outlets like Chalkbeat Indiana have been talking about the mess for some time, and the fact that we are talking about millions of dollars in taxpayer money disappearing without a trace should be concerning to everyone.

“The solution should be obvious as well: legislative oversight of this questionable industry. Indiana House Democrats have sought such controls for a few sessions now, but the Republicans have remained resolute that nothing should be done.

“Such claims are ludicrous, in light of what has happened with the Indiana Virtual School and the Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy. The Legislature needs to start acting to protect the taxpayers and the families that are the biggest victims here.

“We do have the means to start this work. We have an Interim Study Committee on Education that will be meeting this summer, and I will ask our members on that committee – State Reps. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis), Sheila Klinker (D-Lafayette) and Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) – to press for action on this matter in the meetings to take place in the months to come. There is no excuse for doing nothing.”

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