State appeals $8.5M award to charter schools over unpaid tuition 

A dispute between a group of Indiana charter schools and the state concerning unpaid tuition money, in which a trial court awarded the schools several million dollars, will be heard next week by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

In the case of State of Indiana, et al. v. Indiana Connections Academy, Inc., et al., 18A-PL-02634, Indiana Connections Academy Inc. and various other state charter schools sued the state, arguing that they were owed a semester’s worth of unpaid tuition support funding.

The Marion Superior Court ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of the charter schools, ordering the state to pay a total of more than $8.5 million in tuition support to Indiana Connections Academy, Andrew J. Brown Charter School and Aspire Charter Academy. Those schools, along with Rural Community Schools and National Heritage Academies, sued to recover tuition support they allege the state failed to pay for the public education supplied to students enrolled during the 2012-13 school year.

On appeal, Indiana argues there is no contractual, constitutional, or equitable basis for the trial court’s order in the schools’ favor. The charter schools’ cross appeal asserts they should have been awarded prejudgment interest and that the amount of damages was incorrect with respect to one of the charter schools. The academy further asserts that the state breached the parties’ express contract.

Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik and Judges John Baker and Robert Altice are scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Indianapolis.

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