Indiana Senate Democrats are calling for greater accountability for virtual charter schools in the wake of allegations that two such schools inappropriately took $68 million in tax dollars.
A recent state report found the Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy enrolled thousands of students who never took a course and some who didn’t even know they were enrolled. Senate Democrats call it “systemic fraud” that Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) says demands legislative action.
“We need to have some guardrails," Lanane says. "We need to have accountability.”
Sen. Mark Stoops (D-Bloomington) points to his proposal to impose more rules on all charter schools, not just virtual ones.
“An authorizer would be required to sign a bond so that in case there was fraud – as in the Indiana Virtual Schools – the state would have a way to get paid back,” Stoops says.
Republicans have largely rebuffed Democrats’ efforts in recent years on virtual charter schools.