In alignment with IPS Strategic Plan 2015, we are steadfast in our efforts to streamline our business practices and to build an Autonomous school model in which central administration will serve as a support system for teachers and schools throughout our district. Last month, school administrators were introduced to a new education resource planning tool that will help facilitate this shift.
Through the use of the district’s new budgeting tool Allovue, principals have the opportunity to get a closer look at their budgets; allowing them to make calculated decisions and adjustments based on the needs of their school.
“As we continue to grant schools more autonomy, it was a priority to provide them with the best budgeting tools possible so that they can allocate their funds properly. Through the lens of student-based budgeting, this tool will help them be more strategic with how they spend their dollars,” says Marques Whitmire, Director of Special Projects for the IPS Finance Division.
Now that our schools have the best tools available to manage their budgets and as part of the district’s Autonomous school model, Student-Based Budgeting (SBB) will inform how the schools allocate their funds; granting them increased flexibility with an improved financial system. Commonly misinterpreted as a model that will have adverse effects on our schools, SBB will actually allow school administrators to strategically utilize their resources to boost student achievement and offer more intentional supports for achieving equity. “Our overall goal in this transition is equity – making sure that we are providing the correct amount of resources to the appropriate schools at the best time to ensure every student has the opportunity and access to an excellent education,” says Whitmire.
In collaboration with Education Resource Strategies (ERS) and community stakeholders, we’re working diligently to refine the weighted student formula that would inform our administration’s decisions around budget allocations. The initial draft of our plan is projected for Board review in June 2016. Indianapolis Public Schools is committed to engaging in open dialogue and transparency to help our community understand the dynamics of how funding allocations directly impact our students.