On Monday, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) offered an amendment to House Bill (HB) 1066 that would ensure charter schools are subject to anti-nepotism laws currently in place for local governments. Recently, two Indiana virtual charter schools funneled $86 million in state funds to family members and their companies. Greg Bright, CFO of the Indiana Virtual Education Foundation (IVEF), and his family themselves benefited from over $82 million in contracts between IVEF and the two virtual schools. Sen. Tallian’s amendment was approved with a vote of 42-8.
“We already regulate this type of insider dealing in public schools and across local and state government,” Sen. Tallian said. “My proposal is a small but necessary clarification that charter schools are subject to this law as well. We want all schools to be treated equally under the law, and this would be an effective and easy way to level the playing field. Hoosiers’ hard-earned tax dollars that are allocated for education must not be ripped off by unscrupulous, even criminal, insider dealing.”