Public Charter Schools

Two Indianapolis charter schools students

Charter schools are free, autonomous public schools that operate independent of traditional school district policies and have the flexibility to innovate in the way they educate students while still being held accountable for advancing student achievement. The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 17 independent charter schools since 2012.

Public charter school facts

  • Charter schools are public schools – they are free to attend and are open to all students for enrollment.
  • Independent charter schools operate independent of a traditional school district.
  • They are governed by a nonprofit board of directors.
  • Charter schools give school leaders the autonomy and flexibility to create new models for instruction that meet specific student needs.
  • They are held accountable for advancing student achievement by their charter authorizer and the Indiana State Department of Education.

In Indianapolis, the mayor has the power to authorize public charter schools through the Office of Education Innovation. The office is responsible for overseeing the academics, finances, and operations of mayor-sponsored public charter schools that educate about 18,000 students across the city.

Indianapolis Charter School Enrollment

For the 2020-2021 school year:

  • 22,919 students attend a public charter school
  • 84% of students attending charter schools are students of color
  • 79% of students qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch
  • 51% of all students attending a public school within IPS boundaries are enrolled in a public charter school