INPEA Position Statement
INPEA believes that all parents have a right and responsibility to choose the school that they believe is best suited for their children, whether that school is public, religious, or private. Toward that end, INPEA supports state and national legislation to provide parents the opportunity to exercise their right to choose education appropriate for their children, regardless of their socio-economic status.
A Charter School is a relatively new concept in the American educational system. It is promoted as an alternative within the public school system and a means of educational reform. Indiana now provides for the establishment of Charter Schools. INPEA believes the public must be clear about what Charter Schools are and are not as these schools are discussed and established in Indiana.
There are and will remain distinct differences between non-public schools and Charter Schools.
- Charter Schools are public schools.
- Although Charter Schools may be free to choose curriculum, program formats, and be free of some regulations, they are limited by legislation.
- Charter Schools are not free to incorporate religious curriculum and practice into the school program.
- Charter Schools may imitate non-public schools but they cannot duplicate the uniqueness and curricular independence of non-public schools.
- Parents should not be led to believe that a Charter School is the same as a non-public school.
INPEA affirms the parents’ right and responsibility to exercise school choice. To the extent that Charter School legislation affirms the right and responsibility to choose the best educational setting for ones’ children, INPEA supports the concept of Charter Schools. However Charter Schools offer only limited choice within the public school system.
A more equitable system and true educational choice would enable parents to choose from a wide array of school settings. This would include non-public schools and public schools, whether traditional or Charter.
INPEA Board of Directors
November 14, 2000