IPS superintendent to receive full pay of $800,000 despite early departure

INDIANAPOLIS – This will mark the final school year for IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White, who stands to make nearly $800,000 in a retirement deal.

White made a brief announcement Tuesday night announcing his intention to retire effective April 5. The Indianapolis Public School Board Commissioners accepted his decision and thanked White for his service.

“At the end of the workday on Friday, April 5th, I will retire from the IPS school district,” White told the board. “There’s been speculation, but this is a decision that’s a heartfelt decision and I’m just thankful for the privilege of serving the young people of this community.”

Board president Diane Arnold said they are prepared to pay White nearly the entire balance of his remaining contract, which runs until 2015. Though negotiations are not yet final, Arnold said White made roughly $374,000 a year when factoring in benefits, so he would likely receive nearly $800,000.

“We’re very grateful for his leadership. We think there’s been a lot of progress, but this is a new board and I believe that he was very gracious and understanding that new boards have new visions,” Arnold said.

“He wanted to honor us as much as we wanted to honor his request to retire,” she added.

“This is probably a good settlement, and it’s not about hassling. We will satisfy the agreement of the contract and we will go forward,” White said.

Fox59 had previously learned that White didn’t plan to complete the remainder of his contract, which runs through 2015.

White joined IPS in July 2005 after serving 11 years as superintendent of Washington Township.

“It has been a privilege to work on behalf of IPS students and to partner with our parents, community and school staff,” White said. “We have accomplished much in the last seven years and I am proud of the progress we have made.”

During his tenure at IPS, White created the district’s full-day kindergarten program and reduced the dropout rate from 36 percent in 2007 to about 18 percent in 2012. The graduation rate also improved from 44 percent in 2005 to 65 percent in 2012.

White spearheaded efforts to reform music and athletic programs and created four district secondary magnet programs.

In recent years, criticism toward White mounted in response to slowing improvement and White’s resistance to some reforms, which included transferring administrators from failing schools instead of replacing them.

In 2011, the State Board of Education voted to take over four struggling IPS schools, putting them in the hands of private operators. IPS has also lost thousands of students to charter schools and a few hundred more to school vouchers to private schools.

Despite the recent criticism, White said it wasn’t until the latest IPS school board election in November, in which three new members were voted in, that he realized he no longer shared the same vision as the board.

“That is definitely proof that the community wants to pursue those kind of reforms and I think that, for the good of the district we want to support that,” White said. “It’s almost like a dance. You get coordinated with each other. They will select someone who will definitely be in step with their vision.”

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress,” Arnold said. “But I think as Dr. White said, we’re ready to kind of take it to the next level.”

White received the second of two Indiana Superintendent of the Year awards while at IPS (2009) and was the 2007 National Association of Black School Educators Superintendent of the Year.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard issued the following statement regarding White’s retirement:

“Eugene White’s tenure as IPS Superintendent was a time of many challenges and successes. I appreciate his service to our community and look forward to a continued strong relationship with IPS as we work to advance the educational needs of our children in Indianapolis.”

28 comments

  • east sider

    What in the hell is wrong with us? Our public schools have been on the decline for years under this clown. The majority of the school board wants him out. And we still are going to pay him another $800K. I also heard that part of his contract is he has been getting a new car every year. I am a black man and it is sad to say that we as a community most always vote the same and if you are a black person elected into office. The only thing you need to do to keep your position until you legally can not hold that office any more is to stay Black. As a people we worked hard and fought for the rite to vote and when it comes time to act with intelligence we get in line and are herded like cattle to vote as trained without question. God Help us

  • Indy educator

    I think Dr. White has done an exceptional job. Anyone leading this system is leading a ship that is taking on water. Show me a big city superintendent that is getting any better results. He is a good man, a strong leader, and an excellent role model for all people – black, green, white, blue, or whatever.

    Thank you Dr. White for a job well done!

    • east sider

      Everyone has the right to their own opinion of course. Yours seems to be emotionally based and most others are logically based. I was wondering if these other comments may have "educated" you a little? Care to respond?

    • RedStateVet

      IPS is a joke, and Eugene "Buffoon" White is the primary reason. He should be up on charges, not receiving a fat payday.

    • Reality

      Cut the crap, IPS has been a train wreck for a long time and barely anything has changed. If it was working out so well, these charter schools wouldn't be snatching up these failures.

  • east sider

    I guess I have been looking at this all wrong. Nice people should keep their high pay and important jobs regardless of whether or not they accomplish something so trivial as education of our young people. It should not matter that most of your fellow board members lack confidence in your abilities. Lets all get jobs like this because if other cities are failing just as bad then we would not have a standard to live up to and after all this we could still take the money we have not did anything to earn yet. Come on lets all be role models.

  • GUEST

    THERE IS A GOD AFTER ALL !

    DID WE ALL FORGET THAT WHILE MISTER FANCY SUITS WAS SITTING IN HIS AIR CONDITIONED OFFICE, THE CHILDREN HAD NO AIR AND MOST ARE GOING HOME TO NO FOOD, I DON'T KNOW HOW HE COULD SLEEP AT NIGHT, I WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP 2/3 OF MY SALARY TO THESE CHILDREN AND TO THESE SCHOOLS, HE DIDN'T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THESE CHILDREN, HE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED A RETIREMENT IF HE DID NOT SERVE HIS 30 YEARS JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO!

  • GUEST

    I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW THESE BOARD MEMBERS ARE SO QUICK TO GIVE UP MONEY THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO GIVE OUT CONTRACTS ARE TO BE BROKEN I GUESS IN THE SCHOOLS SYSTEMS THESE DAYS AND NO ONE EVEN THINKS ANYTHING ABOUT IT OH JUST PAY THEM OUR TEACHERS ARE HELD TO THEIR CONTRACTS ,CUSTODIANS ARE WORKING THE JOBS OF 2OR 3 PEOPLE COZ THEIR ISN'T ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE THE STAFF TO KEEP OUR SCHOOL CLEAN JUST DO YOUR BEST WITH WHAT WE HAVE, MAINTANCE IN OUR SCHOOLS IS PUT ON HOLD FOR MANY REASONS COST COST COST IS ALL YOU HEAR BUT PAY THE BIG SHOTS TO DO NOTHING FOR HOW MANY YEARS AND GET PAID LIKE THEY ARE WORKING AND WHAT KIND OF WORK IS DONE FOR THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THESE PEOPLE ARE MAKING SOMEONE ISN;T THINKING THINGS THROUGH WOW
    WE THE PEOPLE AND TAX PAYERS NEED TO STAND UP BUT THAT DOESN;T MEAN WE WILL BE HEARD JUST SHOVED ASIDE UNLESS YOU ARE FOR THE ONES THAT ARE GETTING OVER ON THE POOR PEOPLE OUT HERE TRING TO DO THE RIGHT THING. JUST ISN;T RIGHT

  • JJJ

    Well ,,,,I mean you can't just kick the dude out in the dirt? He's decided to retire so he needs money since he will not have a job. Guess what ? IPS doesn't really have the money, so likely it will be paid in installments!!!! That means they can hire a new boss and pay for two Superintendents at one time, isn't that just swell ! In the meantime, Dr. White can act like every other senior citizen and complain about living on a fixed income while a lot of his students live on fixed incomes already.

  • K-anne

    Disgusting we totally have our priorities screwed. IPS is the largest school district in IN yes, but when we are laying teachers off left n right, & closing schools, & music, art, etc just to keep some schools open. Its ridiculous to pay ONE MAN (God-like to some Devil-like to others aside) so much $. Lets alot some of that $ from the superintendent to the teachers or directly to the schools for security, programs, books, sports….. COME ON.

  • James Earlywine

    I guess they could hire 16 IT peeople, that's like 1 new IT person for 1 out of every 4 schools? He has a contract, he doesn't have to retire. If you want him to retire, despite that he doesn't have to, you have to incentivize him. This guy has won awards and has rendered measurable improvements to IPS.

  • Mike

    Dr. White lowered the dropout rate from 36% to 18%, he raised the graduation rate from 44% to 65%, he instituted a dresscode when the inmates were running the asylum by dressing in saggy pants etc.
    I watched him speak candidly to black kids about their behavior in a way that (sadly) only a successful black man can do without being called a racist. The hallways had fewer awol students, and he supported teachers even if it was with tough love. I just hope we are not about to let the kids start running the schools again, or pushing bad administrators to another building like hot-potato.

  • K-anne

    Ok I appreciate the fact he made improvements, my prob is should we really be paying such high salaries to 1 man? What about the teachers on the front lines day in day out? Wht about the "INMATES" who need after school programs to keep them busy so they dont turn into REAL INMATES. I'm just saying we need to allocate the $ in a more effective & FAIR way.

  • Keeping it real

    This man, had a lot to deal with. First of all being a black superintendent, and second dealing with all of the ignorant parents who failed to see or just totally ignored what he was trying to do. No doubt he was under a lot of pressure. I am glad that he at least cared about how our children dressed, because some of the parents didn't seem to care. He has worked very hard at this job I believe, and I hope he gets all of the benefits due him. Stop complaining and be thankful to God that at least we were blessed with someone who tried to make a difference. I would like to see some of you, who have so many negative comments do his job. Yea, that's what I thought. So shut up!

    • GUEST

      YES, THAT POOR SOLE IN HIS FANCY CLOTHES , CAR , AIR CONDITIONED OFFICE , GOLD JEWELERY , HE REALLY HAD IT ROUGH DIDN'T HE , MY HUSBAND WORKS 10 X AS HARD AS HE DID AND GETS PAID VERY LITTLE AND STILL CAN'T RETIRE EVEN AFTER 30 YEARS. BUT LETS FEEL SORRY FOR HIM ! YA RIGHT!

    • Charlie

      Bet you are Black!! This man you espouse as the greatest thing for IPS is Breaking a contract and receiving money for not working. Guess you must think that is just fine. I believe that if you get paid you should fulfill your obligation. IPS will have to pay another individual to finish up for Mr Whites unfulfilled contract. Soooooo….YOU SHUT UP!!! Idiot!!

  • debbie

    All i have to say its all about the money mr white you dont give a dam about the kids take that money an stick it up ur ass!!!!!!!!!

  • Charlie

    If he is under contract until 2015….why is he allowed to break that contract to retire and why the Hell would the school district pay him the full amount remaining on that contract. Someone else will receive benifits and a very large salary to fill in the remainder of his contract while he is being paid in full. Absolutely STUPID!!! Sound s like our giveaway government at it's finest. After all, it is just TAXPAYER money! We are Doomed!

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