Press Releases | December 11, 2017

The Mind Trust receives $230,000 grant from Cummins to support launch of Innovation Network Schools

INDIANAPOLIS—(December 11, 2017) The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, announced today that it has received a $230,000 grant from the Cummins Foundation to support its work launching new Innovation Network Schools in Indianapolis. The grant makes the Cummins Foundation the latest of several Indianapolis-based businesses and philanthropies to support The Mind Trust’s ongoing Grow Great Schools Campaign, which aims to raise $32 million by 2019 to help double the number of students attending high-quality public schools within the boundaries of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).

“Ensuring that every student in Indianapolis has access to an excellent education is a monumental challenge, and one that cannot be done alone,” says The Mind Trust’s CEO and Founder David Harris. “That’s why we are grateful to Cummins for their commitment to helping us meet this challenge through their support for new Innovation Network Schools.”

Innovation Network Schools are a type of public school that combines the flexibilities and accountability of public charter schools with the resources and services of a large school district. The schools have full operational autonomy and are exempt from most district practices and regulations, but they are part of Indianapolis Public Schools and are overseen and held accountable by the IPS Board of School Commissioners.

“Education is the key to opportunity and advancement. Cummins supports the work of The Mind Trust, the Mayor and IPS to continue to advance Indianapolis as national leader in public education innovation. We applaud their partnership on behalf of our City and youth,” said Mary Titsworth Chandler, CEO of the Cummins Foundation.

While most Innovation Network Schools are only in their first or second year of operation, they are already delivering promising academic results for students. In contrast to flat statewide scores on the most recent ISTEP+ results, the 2016-2017 Innovation Network Schools improved the percentage of students passing both Math and English Language Arts exams by an average of 4.6 percentage points.

Since 2015, The Mind Trust has partnered with Indianapolis Public Schools and The Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation to run the Innovation School Fellowship, which recruits talented, proven, innovative educators from across the city and country and provides them with 1 or 2 full years to design and open an Innovation Network School. The Mind Trust also awards Educator Empowerment Awards to existing public schools whose school leaders and staff want more flexibilities and freedoms and choose to convert to an Innovation Network School.

The grant from Cummins will support the Mind Trust’s work to launch and support Innovation Network Schools. Since 2015, The Mind Trust’s Innovation School Fellowship and Education Empowerment Awards have supported the launch of 9 Innovation Network Schools. There are currently 16 Innovation Network Schools in IPS, with several more under development through The Mind Trust.

About Cummins

The Cummins Foundation was created in 1954, 35 years after Cummins was founded. It was one of the earliest corporate foundations and serves as the company’s charitable giving organization. It provides grants around the world to nonprofit partners to support communities in which our employees live and work. The Cummins Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization that operates independently of Cummins Inc.

 About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit striving to give every Indianapolis student access to an excellent, high-quality public school. The Mind Trust does this by recruiting and empowering top talent, launching and supporting new, innovative and high-quality public schools in Indianapolis, and engaging community stakeholders in conversations about innovation in public education. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported or incubated 17 schools, attracted and placed more than 1000 teachers and school leaders, and raised more than $73 million to bring innovative ideas into Indianapolis classrooms. More information can be found at