Mike Pence touts expansion of charter schools in Indiana

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By: Brian Slodysko/Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is touting an expansion of charter schools that will dramatically increase the number of the privately operated facilities.

The Republican governor told a conference of charter school teachers Tuesday that Indiana will add 22 new charters over the next three years. That will boost the state’s total to 86 — a three-quarters increase since 2011, when 49 schools were open.

Unlike traditional public schools, supporters say charters offer more choices to parents because they have more freedom in setting curricula. They say charters can also boost performance because they are allowed to award merit pay to teachers who get results in the classroom.

Critics counter that charter schools are an excuse to curtail teacher unions and often perform no better than traditional public schools.