Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat and the only mayor in the country who has the authority to open and run charter schools, lost a tight re-election bid and has given the Hoosier State one of its biggest upsets in political history. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a native Hoosier.
Peterson, a two-term mayor who was dubbed the “Peyton Manning of Charter Schools” in a recent article in Education Next, lost to Republican Greg Ballard for reasons that don’t have a lot to do with education. Rising crime and rising property taxes relegated this once-popular mayor to an election-night loser.
Peterson has spearheaded the opening and running of 16 charter schools in the city. What will be interesting, going forward, is what a new mayor — of a different political party — will do with these schools.