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Special Report: In Indiana’s Wild West of virtual charter schools, a new one is opening — on a farm

The Indiana Agriculture and Technology School, set to open in July, will have a physical outpost on a farm in southern Indiana.

Indiana’s newest online charter school, set to open in July, promises to fundamentally change how Hoosier students learn about agriculture — complete with a 600-acre farm campus in southern Indiana.

The school says it can be a model for online schools, learning from others’ mistakes.

But at a time when virtual charter schools across the country are garnering steep criticism for failing to serve students, the Indiana Agriculture and Technology School faces hurdles: Its leaders’ questionable track records with virtual schools, the state’s lax regulations for oversight, and a property sale kept out of public view.

Will the school reach its lofty goal of overhauling how students learn about agriculture? Or will it become an example that only further highlights how Indiana doesn’t adequately regulate its online schools?

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