News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 28, 2013

Indiana House OKs looser rules on selling old schools

By TOM DAVIES
Associated Press

---- — INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House has approved a bill that would shorten the time that school districts must hold onto vacant buildings in case a charter school operator wanted to move into the building.

The House voted 98-0 today in favor of the bill cutting the current four-year waiting period to two years and allowing a fast-track, 30-day period for selling a closed school. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Bill sponsor Rep. Matthew Lehman of Berne says the legislation comes after troubles a northeastern Indiana district has faced in selling two vacant schools even though no charter schools want them.

House Democratic leader Scott Pelath said the bill improves a bad current law that allows privately operated charter schools to take over public property for $1.

Tom Davies writes for the Associated Press.