IPS board commits to ‘major change,’ money remains uncertain for district

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 9, 2015) — With new changes promised by leaders at the city’s public schools, the district remains uncertain about the future of its state funding.

Indianapolis Public Schools board members stood together to announce their commitments and beliefs Monday, meant to guide their work moving forward. The district is working to create a larger strategic plan with input from the community.

“We really wanted to come together,” Board President Diane Arnold said.

The changes come, though, as IPS remains uncertain about its financial future with the state. Legislators are considering changes to school funding that could take as much as $30M over two years away from the district.

“We’ll continue to plan based on what we know now and adjust accordingly,” Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee said.

The district held a public hearing on its new budget Monday as well. For the first time, it will align to the school year instead of the calendar year, allowing for more accurate projections according to Ferebee.

That budget shows a small surplus, much better than thoughts just a year ago that the district faced millions in debt.

However, upcoming years could be seriously impacted by what legislators decide to do. Ferebee said he and others are working at the Statehouse to lobby for better funding for IPS instead.

“The heart of my discussion with legislators throughout this session (is) to ensure that IPS receives adequate funding to provide competitive compensation,” Ferebee said.

Asked if the district is worried, Ferebee said they’ll do whatever is needed to continue to provide services for kids. The strategic plan the district is working on, though, he said could be impacted by decreased funding.

“What we worry about is that what’s being proposed may compromise our ability to move forward with some of our strategic priorities,” Ferebee said.

To read all of the board members’ commitments to the community and families in IPS, go to the link here.