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House OKs looser rules on selling old schools

Updated: January 28, 2013 11:44PM



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 Monday 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.



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