Indiana returning 4 state takeover schools to local control

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana State Board of Education is returning three Indianapolis schools and a Gary school to local control, ending state takeovers prompted by students’ poor academic performance.

Members of the State Board of Education voted 6-2 Wednesday to allow Indianapolis Public Schools to regain control this summer of Emma Donnan Middle School and Thomas Carr Howe and Emmerich Manual high schools. Florida-based Charter Schools USA was hired in 2012 to turn around the three schools after the state assumed control of them following six consecutive years of low student scores on standardized exams.

Board member Peter Miller said the takeover process had come to an end but it was not a failure, WFYI-FM reported.

"They did what they were asked to do and the end of the contract is here,” he said.

The Indianapolis school district plans to close Thomas Carr Howe High School this summer. District officials said a committee will then take about a year to “reimagine” what should happen to the campus.

The Board of Education also voted unanimously Wednesday to immediately return Gary's Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy to the control of the Gary Community School Corporation.

The state had taken over the northwestern Indiana school in 2011 due to chronic academic failure. Florida-based Edison Learning had operated the Gary school since mid-2012.