At the November 19 Action Session, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners approved a compensation resolution for non-teaching employees, as well as initiatives to support the well-being of IPS students.
Commissioners voted to approve a contract negotiation agreement between Indianapolis Public Schools and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the union representing non-certified employees. IPS and AFSCME agreed on a loyalty bonus stipend for returning employees who are in good standing. The loyalty bonus for 2015 will be $1,250, and employees eligible for the bonus again in 2016 will receive $1,500. To be eligible, employees must be hired before July 1 of the previous year, and must not have any disciplinary action for that school year. This bonus is equal to an 11.9% pay raise for the average IPS employee in the bargaining unit, and approximately 2,040 employees are eligible for the bonus.
Additional highlights of the agreement include a $500 yearly stipend for Special Education Assistants in addition to the general bonus and the option for the district to implement incentive pay plans for all employees or specific groups. IPS is enhancing healthcare services available to employees and continues efforts to keep these offerings cost-neutral to district employees. AFSCME is in support of all points included in the agreement; ratification of the union contract is the final step in this process.
IU Nursing School Agreement
An agreement between IPS and Indiana University’s School of Nursing was approved; IU will provide student nurses to provide health services at IPS clinics. IU student nurses eligible for placement will serve as clinical support members at IPS schools without compensation, and will be supervised by IPS and IU staff.
Mental Health Center Grant
Commissioners approved the acceptance of a grant from the Indiana Department of Mental Health supporting a statewide initiative to implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in schools. The Mental Health Center and Schools PBIS Collaboration Grant supports schools in high-poverty areas demonstrating positive relationships with mental health providers. Arsenal Technical High School, James Whitcomb Riley School 43, Meredith Nicholson School 96 and Paul I. Miller School 114 will participate in the grant project; these schools partner with Midtown Mental Health Center and Adult and Child Center.
The selected schools will receive an initial $15,000 to Otiembed mental health staff into their PBIS practices and offer tiered supports through professional development and supportive implementation of practices. The funding can be used for professional development, consultants, purchasing of incentives, support for parent meetings, the purchase of social-emotional curriculum and other needs determined by the school PBIS leadership teams. Each school is required to conduct a PBIS–related assessment and develop an action plan grounded in the needs of the students. Schools will make monthly reports to supervisors at their partner mental health center. Successful development and implementation of the action plan makes each school eligible for an additional $15,000 each.
Surplus Property Sale
As part of the district’s long-term efficiency strategy of repurposing and liquidating underutilized facilities, Otis E. Brown School 20 was declared as surplus property by the district on April 30, 2015; the Board approved the sale of the property located at 1949 East Pleasant Run Parkway, South Drive. I CAN SCHOOLS was determined the highest and best bidder with a bid of $270,000. The bidder proposes to use the property for the development of the Indiana College Preparatory School 2. The Deputy Superintendent for Operations will now execute the purchase agreement, closing the sale of this surplus property.