A Need For Great Schools

In 2001, at the urging of then Mayor Bart Peterson, the Indiana legislature approved a law making Indianapolis the first U.S. city where the mayor has the ability to authorize charter schools, which are public schools that are independent from school districts and therefore have more freedom to make key decisions at the school level.

Peterson selected David Harris, one of his policy advisors, to build and run the mayor's charter school office.

Peterson and Harris worked to grow the number of high-quality charter schools in Indianapolis as a way to help address the city's critical education needs. They approved several great schools and saw the dramatic impact that creating world-class public education options had on the city and its families.

This progress encouraged them to think even bigger: What if every child in Indianapolis could have the opportunity to receive a life-changing education?

Peterson and Harris knew that making this a reality would require creating enough great schools for every student to be able to attend one. They launched Mind Trust in 2006 to help do that.

$35 million

Amount The Mind Trust has raised to invest in education innovation in Indianapolis since 2006.

For several years, Indianapolis has led the Midwest in education reform. It started when former Mayor Bart Peterson launched the city's award-winning charter schools initiative. It accelerated with the launch of The Mind Trust that brought a concentration of the nation's best education entrepreneurs to the city and made Indianapolis the envy of the region."

-Terry Ryan