Keven Teasley from the GEO Foundation in Indianapolis, which incubates high-quality charter schools and then supports their growth, sends word of their positive outcomes for charter school students and one student’s story makes the compelling case for why we need school choice instead of a one-size-fits all education. Kevin writes:
We are also celebrating the overwhelming community response to our new charter, Gary Middle College. We planned to open this fall with 100 students but have received more than 225 applications. We will be expanding our enrollment to 125 and planning to enroll more next year. One young scholar applied because she can’t go to a traditional school. She needs to take care of her mother during the day because her father works during the day. She can go to school at night–when GMC is open–while her father takes care of her mother.
The GEO Foundation is an example of the kind of third party organiations that compete with school districts to govern and develop schools when the money is decentralized and follows students. The GEO Foundation is setting a high standard for charter schools in Indiana and shows that competition and choice can hep students and teachers but can also lead to competition between the best models for school governanace and human capitol development. Some more good news from GEO Foundation includes:
In Colorado Springs, we are partnering with Peter Hilts, former principal of the Classical Academy, one of the state’s largest, oldest and BEST charter schools. Peter is helping us bring Core Knowledge to Pikes Peak Prep, and lead the enrollment growth at the school. With Peter’s assistance, the school just received a donation of 8 2-classroom portables that will help the school double its enrollment over the next few years.
Pikes Peak Prep received a “Governor’s Award” from the Colorado Department of Education this year for its academic excellence, too.
In Gary, we are celebrating having the only “A” charter school in all of Gary, Indiana. The school also boasts a 100% graduation rate and is the highest performing charter school in Gary. The school is 94% poverty and received a $1.25 million renewable three-year grant this year to help grow and improve the high school opportunities.
The more we decentralize the funding at every level of school finance, the more organizations like the GEO Foundation have the opportunity to take on the status quo of school governance.
By Lisa Snell, Reason Foundation