IPS board of commissioners approves budget for 2016-2017

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Update: The budget was approved by the board of commissioners.

"We are excited about the opportunities to incorporate the strategic plan Innovation and Autonomy initiatives through system upgrades, assessments and implementations that are needed to transform our district and also to develop our talent," said IPS Chief Financial Manager Weston Young.

Original story:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 28, 2016) - The Indianapolis Schools board of commissioners is expected to approve the budget for the 2016-2017 school year Monday.

District leadership tells FOX 59 the budget addresses teacher compensation and long-term projects. The matter of teacher pay is a big focus area as schools deal with a looming teacher shortage and competitive pay in neighboring districts. But, boosting salaries adds to the IPS deficit. The proposed budget comes with an estimated $5.5 million gap. Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee said the plan is to pay for the deficit with the district's cash reserves.

Indianapolis teachers were given their first raise in five years in August 2015. The adopted plan calls for an additional bump in pay in the 2016-2017 school year based on teacher performance and experience.

Other projects in the budget include replacing school buses and technology upgrades.

IPS documents indicate the budget takes into consideration an estimated $6 million in revenue from the sale of properties such as the old Coke bottling plant on  Mass Ave. The property is currently owned by IPS and the district is reviewing several bids.

The board is scheduled to meet at noon.