Public Law 1321

Full Language

Author: Rep. Behning
Co-Author: Rep. Huston
Co-Sponsors: Sen. Miller, Sen. Kenley, Sen. Kruse, Sen. Grooms, Sen. Schneider, Sen. Taylor

• Jan 23 - approved by House Education Committee
• Jan 30 - approved by House, 54-37
• Feb 26 - approved by Senate Education Committee
• March 4 - approved by Senate, 31-17
• March 10 - Conference committee meeting (Rep. Bob Behning, Rep. Vernon Smith, Sen. Pete Miller, Sen. Greg Taylor)
• March 13 - approved by House, 59-32, and Senate, 30-18
• March 24 - signed by Governor

The Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Board is authorized to enter into a contract with a leader or school management team to:
1. Replace a school that received a D or F in each of the last three years with an Innovation Network School,
2. Reconstitute a school that operated as an IPS iNetwork school as of Jan 1, 2014 as an Innovation Network School (convert IPS schools which were granted autonomy into Innovation Network Schools), or
3. Establish a new Innovation Network school in a vacant, underutilized, or underenrolled school building, provided that school did not receive an A or B in the most recent school year.

Eligible Schools

Any school in IPS that has received a D or F for the past three years is eligible.  To view list, click here to download the current A-F report from the IDOE website.   

• Enrollment in Innovation Network Schools counts towards IPS' enrollment, and local, state and federal funding will be included in the funding distributions that IPS receives from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).
• The actual per-pupil funding an Innovation Network School operator receives will be determined by its contract with the IPS Board.

• Innovation Network Schools are subject to the same IDOE accountability framework that applies to other IPS schools, and the annual A-F grades of these schools will be factored into IPS' overall corporation letter grade.
• IPS may set additional performance goals and metrics in its contract with the school management team. Failure to meet these goals and metrics constitute grounds for the district terminating its contract with the school management team.

• School management teams are responsible for all personnel decisions and are not bound by the collective bargaining agreement between IPS and the Indianapolis Education Association (IEA).
• Teachers may organize and bargain collectively (outside of the IPS contract) and may participate in the Teacher's Retirement Fund.
• 90% of teachers must hold an Indiana teaching license or be in the process of obtaining a teaching license under the Transition to Teaching program.
• The remaining teachers must have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher in the content area in which they teach and must be in the process of obtaining a charter school teacher's license.

• School management teams receive use of an IPS school building, the accompanying real property, and the building's contents as provided in the agreement with the IPS Board
• IPS may provide transportation, maintenance, security, janitorial, and other services to the Innovation Network School.
• Any goods or services provided to the Innovation Network School must be furnished at IPS' cost.

Innovation Network Schools are exempt from the same statues and regulations as charter schools, with the exception of a specific set of state regulations regarding the following:
Curriculum, accountability for school performance and improvement, graduation requirements, ISTEP, 3rd grade reading deficiency remediation plan, employment of teachers in charter schools, teacher evaluations, criminal history, nondiscrimination for teacher marital status, teacher freedom of association, school counselor immunity, firearms and deadly weapons, health and safety measures, laws requiring regulation by state agencies, required audits by the state board of accounts, unified accounting system, special education, compulsory school attendance, limitations on employment of children, student due process, reporting of student violations of law, and parental access to education records.

• Innovation Network Schools may not refuse enrollment to students in their attendance areas.
• Innovation Network Schools are subject to all state and federal laws and constitutional provisions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, race, gender, national origin, religion, and ancestry.

Support for IPS Teachers and Administrators
• The IPS Board must develop a program to provide support to teachers and administrators who want to establish an Innovation Network School.

Charter School Participation
• The IPS Board may partner with a charter school organization to replace a persistently failing school (one that has received a D or F on the state's grading system for three consecutive years).
• The IPS Board may also partner with a charter school organization to establish a participating Innovation Network School within a vacant, underutilized, or under-enrolled school building.
o This provision allows IPS to give use of a vacant building to a charter school without making it available to all charter schools for sale or lease at $1, as is otherwise required by IC 20-26-7-1.
• The charter school's A-F grade will be attributed to IPS, but the charter school will be held accountable under the charter school law and according to the terms of its charter.
• The charter school will remain its own LEA and will receive federal funding directly from the IDOE.
• The charter school's students will be counted in the same way as IPS students for state funding purposes, and state tuition support and other state funding for the charter school's students will be distributed to IPS, which will then distribute an agreed-upon amount to the charter school.
• As with non-charter operators, any goods or services provided to the Innovation Network School must be furnished at IPS' cost.