The Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners met on Tuesday, November 14, for an Agenda Review Session and Thursday, November 16, for an Action Board Session. 

Topics will included:

Student-Based Allocation (SBA) Update

Chief Financial Manager Weston Young provided an update on the implementation of student-based allocation.

What Audiences Need to Know:


  • SBA has increased equity, transparency and flexibility across schools.
  • IPS will increase flexibility around program-specific resources.
  • The district will develop principal capacity for improved school design.
  • IPS will increase collaboration between Central Services and school teams.
  • Projected revenue declines will impact the amount of funds distributed to schools through the SBA weighted student formula in the 2018-19 school year.


  • Collaborative Support – Academic Improvement Officers and Directors of Principal Development were prepared and ready to assist principals as they set up their programming.
  • Increased Equity – IPS per-pupil funding saw greater equity in schools based on the unique needs of the students in those schools.
  • Enrollment Projection Process – Enrollment projections were more accurate than the prior year due to better collaboration combined with ongoing meetings.


  • Budget Workbook Tool – The district will implement a tool to help improve staffing workbooks and make the process easier for building-level administrators to navigate.
  • Fall Adjustment Process – The district will improve communication about the Fall adjustment process to help everyone understand the changes that will take place.
  • Cash Reserves – Building-level administrators will be encouraged to hold some funds back and strategically deploy them when needed instead of spending everything up front.

Next Steps

  • December 14, 2017 – The administration will present the proposed SBA for the 2018-19 school year to the Board.
  • January 2018 – The administration will distribute allocations to schools.


Collective Bargaining Agreement

Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee discussed the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the IPS Board of School Commissioners and the Indianapolis Education Association.

What Audiences Need to Know:


  • The Salary Schedule remains the same, but all steps will now be equal dollar amounts ($1,293).
  • All teachers who received an evaluation of effective or highly effective and worked at least 120 days last school year will move up one step on the salary schedule.
  • The pay increase is retroactive to the beginning of this school year.
  • Teachers at the top of the salary schedule will receive a 2% (1,188) stipend; half will be paid in December and the other half will be paid at the end of the school year.
  • Eligible high school teachers will receive a $2,500 or $5,000 bonus (depending on length of service) for staying with the District until the end of the school year.

Expanded Flexibility

  • The district now has more options when deciding how much to pay new teachers. Previously, the district could only pay new teachers up to a certain amount on the salary schedule. Moving forward, the district has the flexibility to place newly-hired teachers anywhere on the schedule.
  • Teachers working in leadership roles can receive an additional pay of $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 or $7,000, based on their level of leadership, instead of the previous “one size fits all” pay of $5,000.

Health Insurance

  • The district will switch from Anthem to United Healthcare.
  • Three plan options will be offered to employees.
  • Depending on the option chosen, employee costs will either increase slightly or decrease significantly.
  • Healthcare costs show no more than an eight percent increase up to a nearly 60 percent decrease, putting little to no burden on raises.

Other Highlights

  • Mandatory professional development pay changes from teachers’ hourly rate to a flat $40/ per hour.
  • The Family Medical Leave Act and bereavement leave provisions have been modified to align with the current Board Policy #3430.

ACTION: Passed 7-0

Innovation Update

Innovation Officer Aleesia Johnson provided an update on the Innovation Partner Selection Process as well as Innovation Restart Recommendations.

What Audiences Need to Know:


  • IPS launched its first Call for Quality Partners to expand the pipeline of interested applicants and manage them directly through the district.
  • IPS created a more explicit selection process engaging cross-functional team members to ensure the selection process leverages the expertise of district leaders.


  • August – “Call for Applicants” live on website
  • September – Letters of Intent due/Started preliminary screenings
  • October – Preliminary screenings continued/In-person cross-functional interviews were conducted
  • November – Interviews continue/Applicants submit full application/Share recommendations for restart with the IPS Board of School Commissioners/Conduct meetings with staff, parents and community
  • December – Community presentations by prospective partners/Complete review of applications
  • January – Matching decision shared with school and community/District match shared with IPS Board of School Commissioners


  • SQR is applied to schools that IPS determines are low-performing as a means of intervention and support before the state gets involved.
  • That decision is made by first taking schools that fall in the bottom quartile on their proficiency test scores; and then of those schools that showed the least amount of growth year over year.
  • A SQR will provide contextual and qualitative data to better inform IPS’ decisions and recommendations.
  • When performing an SQR, the district looks at qualitative data to get the story behind the low-performing numbers. Sometimes that story is positive in that the low numbers are a big improvement over where the schools were previously rated.  Sometimes those stories are not good.  But, the district uses this information to determine what interventions are required.

Schools Recommended for Restart

  • Wendell Phillips School 63
  • Washington Irving School 14

Innovation School Progress

  • Nearly 90 percent of innovation schools earned an A or B in state testing (new school scores are calculated on a growth-only scale the first three years).
  • IPS has seen a surge in enrollment in schools that have been re-started.
  • IPS has seen better outcomes when the district intervenes and leads the charge for improvement rather the state taking over.
  • IPS has consistently re-started, improved or closed consistently failing schools in an aggressive approach to eliminate chronically low-performing schools.

ACTION: Passed 7-0

Support for Student Blood Lead Testing

Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee and School Commissioner Venita Moore presented a proposal in support of blood lead testing for elementary students.

What Audiences Need to Know:


  • Children under age seven are more susceptible to the irreversible effects of lead poisoning.
  • Lead poisoning can cause brain liver and kidney damage, impaired physical and brain development, learning or behavioral problems, hearing loss and restlessness.
  • Lead in the environment may affect students and their younger siblings.


  • The only way to detect lead poisoning is through a simple blood test
  • The IPS Board of School Commissioners is committed to identifying children in IPS entering kindergarten or first grade who have symptoms of lead poisoning.
  • The Board will support effective interventions to eliminate the sources and mitigate the effects of lead exposure.
  • The Administration will work with the Marion County Health Department, Marian University School of Nursing and other public health and community partners to provide blood-lead testing at no cost to students and families.

ACTION: Passed 7-0

Superintendent Performance Compensation

Commissioners Mary Ann Sullivan and Michael O’Connor presented the determination by the Board regarding performance compensation for Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee.

What Audiences Need to Know:

Contract Provisions

  • The employment agreement between the Board and Dr. Ferebee includes performance compensation based on the achievement of mutually agreed upon performance criteria.
  • The Board has completed the annual evaluation of the superintendent for the 2016-17 school year.


  • The Board has determined Dr. Ferebee substantially met the mutually agreed upon objectives for the 2016-17 school year.
  • The superintendent will be paid 80% of the contractual performance compensation for the 2016-17 school year.
    • This is not a bonus, but rather part of the superintendent’s contractual compensation that is explicitly connected to mutually agreed upon performance criteria in lieu of a higher base salary.
  • The superintendent’s base salary will be increased by 2.24% retroactive to July 1, 2017.

ACTION: Passed 7-0