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Monday, June 21, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Mind Trust Response

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We certainly appreciate all individuals who applaud educator diversity, in Indianapolis.  We too, think it is absolutely necessary that there be many more educators of color in Indianapolis in all schools.

However, with any praise of the Mind Trust and its actions in Indianapolis, we have some questions we would like everyone to consider.

Do you support the closure of three legacy high schools for purely economic reasons without any careful consideration of the human impact on students, families, and communities?

Do you support the closure of three legacy high schools based on a committee that did not broadly represent the large range of voices in the community?

Do you support the closure of three legacy high schools without any consideration of alternative solutions? Do you support the school board not even asking for consideration of any other alternatives even though other alternatives exist?

Do you support the Mind Trust and Stand for Children spending around $1.5 million dollars over the last three elections to elect 6 of the 7 board members?  Before the Mind Trust and Stand for Children spent these huge sums starting in 2012, average community folks could win a school board seat with only $3-5,000.  Do you support this big money takeover of the school board?

Do you support the Mind Trust and Stand for Children hiding exactly where this $1.5 million came from and how they spent it by using a 501c4 tax dodge?  Do you think it is supportive of the community and democracy to hide the money?

Are you supportive of white, conservative, wealthy individuals and organizations from outside Indiana providing large sums of money to the Mind Trust and Stand for Children to control IPS?

Do you understand that the so-called “innovation” schools are just a form of charter schools within the district?

Did you know the model for “innovation” schools came from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which is the primary source for white rightwing takeovers of state government, like has been done in Indiana?

Did you know that “innovation” schools allow individuals and companies to make money off of our students, money that in traditional schools would be spent on students and that IPS “innovation” schools actually get more funds than IPS traditional schools?

Did you know all of this about the Mind Trust and their actions?  Has the Mind Trust and Stand for Children told you about all of this? 

Given that everything we have said here is based on public information, do you still think the Mind Trust and Stand for Children are worth your enthusiastic, unquestioned support? 

–IPS Community Coalition (IPSCommunityCoalition@gmail.com), including Rev. David Greene (Concerned Clergy & Purpose of Life Ministries), Dountonia Batts (parent), Pastor Wayne Moore (Baptist Minister’s Alliance & Olivet Baptist Church), Rhondalyn Cornett (President, Indianapolis Education Association), Gayle Cosby (former IPS Board member), and Jim Scheurich (IUPUI professor)  

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