July 18, 2014


The Friedman Foundation in Indiana is hosting an education choice event called “Celebrating Educational Entrepreneurship in Indianapolis.”  The education reform group is celebrating at a time when another Indianapolis charter school operator unexpectedly wants to pull out of a takeover school because it was losing money.


For the curious, Merriam-Webster dictionary defines entrepreneur as:


“a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money”


We find it alarming that a group which claims to be concerned about educating our children would celebrate those who take risks with our children’s education in order to make money.


Children should be the absolute focus of publicly funded schools.


Which leads us to the surprise pullout request of Tindley Schools from operating Arlington High School in Indianapolis…


The group appeared at this month’s State Board of Education meeting to request additional funds to operate the state takeover school. The group’s CEO Marcus Robinson claimed he needed an additional $2.4 million dollars in taxpayer money to keep the school’s doors open.


Robinson called his takeover situation “a bad business model”. He made clear that he should have been given control over Arlington’s student population (and hence, their dollars) and not the building. This left us to ask “where is the “choice” in that?”


This also left us wishing, “what if only all public schools could just ask for additional funding from the state board?” Most have struggled with their budgets over the last several years due to funding cuts and tax breaks, and they too must pay for building operations.


It’s worth noting that all five takeover schools, including Arlington High School, that were taken over by private companies 2 years ago continue to be considered failing schools by earning a grade of F.