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Three charts (and a map) that help explain Indiana schools

Alan PEtersime

On Tuesday, Chalkbeat shared some insights about Marion County from the latest Indiana Department of Education data. Now we are taking a step back to look at some trends across the state. Readers also can find a lot of additional information on each school on the state website.

Here are some of our favorite insights about Indiana:

Charter schools have seen explosive growth in Indiana since the state created its first law allowing them 15 years ago. But while charters have transformed the education landscape in Marion County and northwest Indiana, most of the state has almost no charter schools. In fact, just 21 of the state’s 92 counties have charter schools and in many counties they enroll just a few hundred students.

Over the last 10 years, urban districts across Indiana have lost thousands of students to suburban districts and charter schools.

Many of the kids who left urban districts like Indianapolis Public Schools have transferred to suburban districts, which have seen explosive growth. The most dramatic shift was in Hamilton Southeastern Schools, which gained more than 6,000 students in the last decade.

Just like in Marion County, Indiana students across the state who are poor enough to receive subsidized meals are much more likely to attend schools that have received low marks from the state. More than 19 percent of low-income Hoosiers attend D- or F-rated schools, compared to just 7 percent of their more affluent peers. On the other hand, 50 percent of low-income students attend schools that earn As or Bs from the state. Seventy-three percent of higher-income students are in A- or B-rated schools.

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