March 17, 2017


At the March 16, 2017, Board
Action Session, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners voted
on several key initiatives impacting the 2017-2018 school year.


of SY 2017-2018 Budget

Financial Manager Weston Young presented the proposed 2017-2018 School Year Budget
for adoption.

ACTION: Passed 7-0



philosophies around budget development:

  • Aligned with the
    Board’s Core Commitments and Beliefs and IPS Strategic Plan
  • Redirecting more
    resources to schools and budgeting for 100 percent staffing
  • Be transparent
    and communicate in plain language to justify the need for increased funding


What You Should Know:

While enrollment
has been comparable over the last six years, the district has seen sharp
declines in per-pupil funding, disproving the idea that the funding drop is a
result of enrollment.
Graph showing decline of funding

SY 2013-14, IPS has reduced central office overhead through reorganization and
automation, broken a five-year freeze on teacher pay raises, and generated
revenue through the sale and lease of underutilized property.

continues to proactively address funding challenges without diminishing
classroom instruction; however, these are not long-term solutions. Additional
funding is needed to ensure all students have access to a high-quality
Enrollment decline

Over the next four years, it is estimated
that current fund balances will drop by nearly $90 million. Reasons include:

on SPED and English Language Learning/Teacher Compensation

Strategic plan
initiatives are being
implemented with fidelity, including increasing teacher compensation and
maintaining levels of staffing to adequately support academic programming. Significant funding is allocated to support unfunded federal mandates such as
Special Education and English Language Learning (ELL).

one-time adjustment by the state to spend down the cash balance. 

The adjustment requires
districts to spend down the Debt Service balance prior to receiving increased tax dollars.

Improve cafeteria
facilities, services and food

IPS had a surplus in the School
Lunch fund that had to be spent. Funding was used to renovate cafeteria
facilities, buy new and better lunch trays and eating utensils, equip two food
trucks and improve the quality of the food served.Fund balances


Authorization to
Appeal Incorrect Advertisement of Property Tax Rate or Levy

Financial Manager Weston Young also presented a resolution for Board approval
to appeal the advertised IPS property tax or levy.

ACTION: Passed 7-0


What You Should Know:

During the budget hearing process, the IPS
advertised property tax rate and levy can, for various reasons, be reduced from
what was approved by the Board of School Commissioners.

In order to
provide IPS staff the option to appeal these changes on behalf of the Board, it
is necessary that the Board have on file with the Department of Local
Government Finance a resolution requesting a review of the property tax rate
and levy if such a review is required.

Such a resolution
simply gives the Board the right to officially protest the action that caused
the property tax rate and levy to be reduced.

Having such an
appeal already authorized will eliminate the need to call a special meeting of
the Board to comply with time constraints of Indiana Code 6-1.1-17-15 (Action
is required within 10 days following the official publication of the reduced
property tax rate and levy).



According to IPS Strategic Plan Goal 1.1.2, IPS will expand Innovation Network
Schools to provide a wider range of Choice options for families.

During the Action Section, Innovation Officer Aleesia Johnson presented a
for approval to transition Thomas D.
Gregg School 15 to Innovation status, to restart Elder Diggs School
42 as Ignite Achievement Academy, and to charter Avondale Meadows Middle


Avondale Meadows Innovation Partnership: Passed 7-0;

Thomas D. Gregg School
15 Innovation Conversion:
Passed 7-0;

Elder Diggs School 42
Innovation Restart: Passed 6-0, 1 abstained;


Special Education Residency Program
with Purdue University

Schlegel, Human Resources officer; Taylor Brown, director of Talent Strategy;
and Ashley
Cowger, director of Special Education, presented a Memorandum of Understanding
outlining a Special Education Residency Program partnership with Purdue

ACTION: Passed 7-0


to IPS Strategic Plan Goal 2.5, IPS will increase and improve employee
recruitment efforts by 100 percent, based upon a review of industry standards
and district best practices.

  • IPS is feeling
    the impact of a statewide teacher shortage, so it is imperative that we bolster
    our efforts to ensure we have strong educators in our classrooms on Day One.
  • IPS teacher recruitment priority areas include
    conducting regular data analysis, increasing online presence, expanding
    candidate engagement opportunities, and differentiating marketing and
    application materials to improve candidate experiences.

What You Should Know:

1.      IPS Talent
and Special Education teams have designed a partnership with Purdue
University’s online MSEd in Special Education program to meet current special
education staffing needs and develop a pipeline of future special educators.

2.      Purdue
University will provide recruitment expertise and IPS and Purdue will engage in
a joint selection of cohort participants.

3.      Purdue
students will serve in Special Education Instructional Assistant positions and
engage in additional district professional development under the supervision of
a special education teacher leader while completing coursework online.

4.      Upon
graduation, individuals will be licensed in mild and intense intervention and
eligible to be considered for special education teaching positions.


Anthem Health
Insurance Letter of Agreement

voted to approve a
Letter of Agreement with Anthem Insurance.

ACTION: Passed 7-0


 What You Should Know:

IPS selected a
new insurance provider to improve health benefits for employees

That transition
focused on improving employee health

IPS is committed
to cover any premium increases for employees under the new plan


High School and Riverside High School Conversion Proposal

Officer Aleesia Johnson and Herron High School President and Head of School,
Janet H. McNeal, presented a proposal to transition Herron High School and the
soon-to-be launched Riverside High School to innovation status.

ACTION: The Board
voted unanimously agreed to enter into talks with Herron High School to
discuss the possibility of forming an Innovation partnership with Herron and Riverside high



High School
Timeline and Process

IPS has approved a timeline for community engagement and
decision-making on potential
high school closings.

ACTION: Passed 7-0



What You Should Know:

 IPS has
created a Facilities Utilization Task Force to study the underutilization of
high schools.

The Board of School Commissioners will have at
least eight opportunities to gain feedback at public meetings.