June 21, 2016 09:00 ET

Nonprofit IFF Releases New Data and Tools to Improve Indianapolis Education Landscape

IFF, Partners Committed to Growing Number of Quality Schools in High-Need Areas

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwired - June 21, 2016) - Midwest nonprofit IFF today introduced new data that improves and expands on a previous Indianapolis study to guide decisions about ensuring every child in the city can attend a quality school.

The study, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, found nearly 59,000 children in Indianapolis lack access to high-performing schools and identifies the greatest-need areas. Most of the citywide need is in 10 areas scattered throughout Indianapolis.

To help parents and other stakeholders understand and evaluate how schools in their neighborhood are performing over time, IFF also has made available to the public new online tools produced in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation. The performance dashboard shows how individual schools in Indianapolis perform each year and lets viewers filter results by multiple factors, including school type, charter authorizer and whether it's within or close to a high-need area. The priority map tool ranks areas according to need and allows viewers to filter schools by rating and school type.

"Every child in this country deserves to attend a good school near their home," IFF CEO Joe Neri said. "Our updated research in Indianapolis prioritizes where and how to invest resources, and our new tools make the data easy and accessible so that community members can see which neighborhoods would benefit the most."

Other partner organizations focused on improving the city's education system include the Indianapolis Mayor's Office of Education Innovation, the Indiana Charter School Board, the Institute for Quality Education, the Network for Quality Education and The Mind Trust. Each one plays an important role in creating and supporting charter and choice schools, from charter authorization to new school leader development to public policy advocacy.

"This partnership's commitment to creating opportunity for every child reflects our values as a community," Indianapolis Mayor's Director of Charter Schools Ahmed Young said. "Thanks to the priority that IFF and its partners are giving education, thousands of Indianapolis students will gain access to a high-quality school in their neighborhood."

As part of this effort, IFF will provide the financing and real estate services necessary to support opening nine new schools with 3,600 students total in priority areas by 2018. The work fits with IFF's overall education strategy to bring more quality schools to areas that need them most across the Midwest.

About IFF
IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. From child care to senior housing, IFF works closely with clients from every sector, offering affordable, flexible financing; full-scale real estate consulting; and community development services. Since 1988, we have made over $620 million in loans, leveraged $1.7 billion in community investments and grown our total managed assets to $498 million.

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