Indiana Senate backs control shift on troubled schools in Muncie, Gary

Tables, chairs and equipment sit inside a Muncie Community schools facility. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate has approved a bill further reducing the power of the Gary school board while allowing Ball State University to take over Muncie’s schools.

Both districts were previously overseen by local officials who mismanaged money. Gary is over $100 million in debt and Muncie misspent a $10 million bond.

The bill approved Tuesday on a 35-14 vote would further insert the state into running the districts. The House previously approved the bill, but must sign off on changes made in the Senate.

Democrats oppose the measure, saying it’s undemocratic and would disenfranchise voters in Muncie, while further diminishing the authority of Gary’s school board. But Republicans say it’s necessary because the school districts have demonstrated they are unable to fix their problems.