Local | March 22, 2013

Grant money helps 12 new planned charter schools move forward

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – One local nonprofit group, The Mind Trust, is helping to fund as many as 12 new charter schools in Indianapolis.

The organization awarded two companies $1 million each so they can fund more charter schools for Indianapolis.

“With the grant were going to be able to open our first elementary school,” explains Emily Pelino the Executive Director of KIPP Indy.

KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory started out nine years ago with just one classroom. Now the charter school is teaching 5th through 8th grade and the executive director says, the school has even bigger plans.

“We don’t currently receive significant funds for a facility so this support really helps as we look to grow our network of schools,” explains Pelino.

Emily Pelino says, KIPP Indy wants to expand to four more schools and now they have some of the funds to do so. "The Mind Trust" picked KIPP and another company, Rocketship Education, to be awarded the grant money after a grueling application process. The money will help fund the ultimate goal of adding 12 new schools in Indianapolis.

“We plan to really focus on continuing to grow high quality charter schools in Indianapolis and the focus of the incubator is not just growing lots of charter schools for the sake of growing charter schools, but really growing the very best of the very best here,” says David Harris the founder of The Mind Trust.

David Harris explains by 2020, this money will help serve more than 6,000 students in the city and they’re students who otherwise wouldn’t be given the same opportunities.

“Schools that are showing the kids that no matter what their circumstances, no matter what their economic backgrounds they may come from or their family situations, that all kids given the right support can excel and do as well as any other group of kids,” says Harris.

KIPP Indy plans to use the grant money to open their first elementary school. Rocketship Education has charter schools in California. They plan to build in Indianapolis by August 2015.