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Thousands of students across the state are enrolled in 72 charter schools, including a dozen in Northwest Indiana. In addition, nearly 7,500 students have enrolled in Indiana's voucher program, allowing families to use tax dollars to send children to private schools.

The expanded number of charter schools across the state and the creation of the Indiana voucher program -- one of the broadest voucher programs in the country -- is the result of legislation adopted in 2011. The program provides vouchers, or scholarships, to eligible students to attend a private school of their choice. The first year, the voucher program was capped at 7,500. This year, the program is capped at 15,000 students. Next year, an unlimited number of students can apply.

Keven Teasley from the GEO Foundation in Indianapolis, which incubates high-quality charter schools and then supports their growth, sends word of their positive outcomes for charter school students and one student's story makes the compelling case for why we need school choice instead of a one-size-fits all education.

We are also celebrating the overwhelming community response to our new charter, Gary Middle College. We planned to open this fall with 100 students but have received more than 225 applications. We will be expanding our enrollment to 125 and planning to enroll more next year.

Over 200 students partake in first GMC lottery

Gary Middle College's first enrollment lottery was held on Friday, June 1. Over 200 students vied for 125 open seats. Students who were not selected have joined the waitlist that as of today is over 100. If you weren't chosen or if you haven't applied yet, don't lose hope!

Rhonda Murphy is looking for a new high school for her son who likes to sleep late and works better in the afternoon.

She thinks she may have found the answer in the Gary Middle College, a charter that will open its doors Aug. 13 for grades 9 through 12 at the site of the 21st Century Charter School, 556 Washington St.

The school day is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with flexible scheduling on Friday and Saturday.

The school board of the new Gary Middle College (GMC), located at 724 WASHINGTON STREET in Gary is pleased to welcome community members, clergy, nonprofit colleagues, school counselors, members of the media and interested neighbors to an information session on April 26 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Join the group for refreshments, tours of the facility and a brief informational presentation on this innovative new school for the Gary community.

The principal of a new Gary charter school talked Thursday about what the school will offer to its students.

Gary Middle College, a public charter school, is designed for the nontraditional student who wants to earn a high school diploma. The new school is housed with sister school 21st Century Charter School, 556 Washington St., in Gary. Both are operated by Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation.

Gary Middle College will open Aug. 13 with 100 students, and operate between 5 and 9 p.m. after the school day ends at 21st Century Charter School. Flexible hours also will be offered Fridays and Saturdays. Child care will be available to students.

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