At its September 23, 2014 Action Session the Board of Commissioners approved a contract with Indianapolis Education Association. This contract, for the 2014-2015 school year, includes a $1,500 loyalty bonus for returning teachers. This one-time bonus applies to certified teachers who were employed with IPS in the previous school year and were rated effective or highly effective. All base salaries will remain the same as last school year.

In the new contract, compensation incentives are included to recruit talented educators in areas including special education, math, science, foreign languages, English as a Second Language, and at our priority schools. This agreement will allow the district more flexibility as these teachers can be offered contracts with higher starting salaries. Pay increases for advanced degrees are not included in the new contract, but teachers may receive increased compensation by becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.

A new initiative for school-based leadership is being introduced to IPS with this contract. Educators identified as lead teachers – who will take on extra responsibilities and mentoring duties – can qualify for a stipend of $5,000 yearly.

In the 2015 calendar year, healthcare costs will increase for the district. IPS will absorb those additional fees for all employees to avoid increased individual costs.

The Board of Commissioners also approved a Memorandum of Understanding with The Mind Trust to support a second group of Innovation School Fellows. This unique partnership selects qualified educators, business leaders, or other community members to draft a plan to lead a future IPS school. Letters of intent will be accepted by The Mind Trust until January 18, 2015.

Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee took a few moments at the action session to reflect on his one-year anniversary as IPS superintendent. “We’re a much stronger team and a more focused team than we were one year ago,” he said. “Our progress hasn’t always been pretty, but it’s been steady and it’s been impactful.” Dr. Ferebee commented on the district’s heightened transparency and an increase of trust between key players. “We have a new energy that’s contagious and a sense of pride that’s taking over the community,” he added.

Commissioners also weighed in on their first year with the new IPS leadership team. “Your personality really embodies the term “servant leadership,’” Commissioner Gayle Cosby said to Dr. Ferebee. She added that the Board has made great strides in the last year and she looks forward to continued success.