Press Releases | December 8, 2015

Fairbanks Foundation awards $3 million to The Mind Trust to continue transforming public education in Indianapolis

Indianapolis – The Mind Trust has received a $3 million grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation to help advance The Mind Trust’s mission to provide every Indianapolis student with access to a high-quality public school.

“The mission of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people, and supporting efforts to significantly improve academic outcomes for Indianapolis students in our K-12 public education system is one of our primary goals,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, foundation president & CEO. “We are pleased to support The Mind Trust as it continues to foster an environment of innovation and spark an influx of talented education innovators into Indianapolis classrooms.”

Specifically, the award will support The Mind Trust in its three core focus areas:

1. Launching new schools and education nonprofits. The Mind Trust operates three incubators that grow high-quality public schools and education nonprofits in Indianapolis:

  • Innovation School Fellowship. The Mind Trust formed a partnership with the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and the Mayor’s Office to launch Innovation Network Schools, autonomous public schools within IPS, the city’s largest school district. The Mind Trust also created the Education Empowerment Grant to help high-performing IPS schools convert to Innovation status.
  • Charter School Incubator. The Mind Trust helps launch or expand excellent public charter schools, autonomous schools that operate independently and are free from most state regulations, allowing them to be more innovative and flexible in the classroom.
  • Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. The Mind Trust also launches high quality non-profit education organizations that address specific challenges facing those schools and their students.

2. Bringing talented educators into Indianapolis schools and classrooms. The Mind Trust helps recruit talented education innovators and the nation’s top education organizations to Indianapolis to build a stronger pipeline of great teachers and school leaders to work in our public schools, address specific student needs in local schools and advocate for students, parents and neighborhoods.

3. Engaging the communities and neighborhoods affected by education change. The Mind Trust actively engages the communities & neighborhoods it serves to build support for and involve community stakeholders in education innovation throughout the city. It also conducts research on critical education issues and advances bold policy initiatives to create a landscape that fosters the growth of quality schools.

“The Fairbanks Foundation has demonstrated time and time again that it is committed to providing every Indianapolis student access to a world-class public school,” said David Harris, founder & CEO of The Mind Trust. “This award comes as The Mind Trust is gearing up to aggressively launch a new set of innovative, high-performing schools over the next few years, and the foundation will be a key partner in this important work.”