IPS set to vote Monday on high school closures

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- On Monday, the IPS school board will vote on whether to close or restructure several of its high schools in an effort to save money. The vote is coming after months of contentious back meetings where many parents and community members voiced their unhappiness with the district’s plans.

Already there is a protest planned for outside the meeting, but officials say given the financial state of this district hard decisions have to be made.

All indications are the board will vote to close or repurpose three of the districts legacy high schools: Broad Ripple, Arlington, and Northwest.

“[We’re]hoping they will delay the vote, consider other options, [and] explore other ideas,” said Dountonia Batts of the IPS Community Coalition, which is opposed to the proposal.

The proposal comes as district wide enrollment has fallen, with many of IPS’s high schools only half-filled. District officials say closing the schools would save about $4 million a year.

“I think it’s really important that this in a culmination of a long process,” said school board president Mary Ann Sullivan, “we’ve had many, many months of conversations on this issue.

Officials have long maintained there were no easy choices and said they understand parents’ frustration over the situation.

“It will allow us to be more strategic and have more alignment for our high schools,” said Sullivan, “ it will improve the situation but it won’t solve our problem.”

In a final push to sway the vote, the IPS Community Coalition is organizing a protest to happen outside the IPS administration building during Monday night’s meeting.

“We are sharing to the community our disdain for the direction that the district is going in because we feel that it’s leaving out the most vulnerable students,” said Batts.

The meeting is open to the public, however there will not be any designated time for public comments.

Meeting Details:

6 p.m. at IPS Headquarters

121 East Walnut Street, Indianapolis