That sound you heard Wednesday? That was the sound of the Indiana Charter School Board rubber-stamping a real estate deal to benefit a politically connected Fort Wayne business owner.
How else to explain a 5-1 vote to "replicate" an unproven school that has drawn few students in Indianapolis and met strong resistance from the Fort Wayne community during a public hearing held just 7 business days after local school officials and were notified? The application was approved less than 24 hours after the hearing.
Daryle Doden's Ambassador Enterprises has been looking to draw a charter school tenant to The Summit, its education center at the former Taylor University campus, for more than a year. Another charter school applicant, Sun Academy, proposed leasing space there in a charter school application last year, but withdrew its bid. (Sun Academy has submitted a letter of intent to offer another application this spring, along with Global Village International Inc., so as many as three new charter schools could be opening in Fort Wayne next fall.)
Doden is the father of Eric Doden, a former GOP candidate for mayor and Gov. Mike Pence's newly appointed director for statewide economic development. Daryle Doden and his wife contributed $15,500 to Pence's campaign.
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