IPS, Indy Chamber of Commerce compromise on $220M operating referendum

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners have reached a deal on a $220M operating referendum.

The Board agreed in March to partner with the Chamber on the assessment, which identified hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings from dozens of efficiency recommendations.

The chamber was advocating for a tax hike that would raise $100 million over eight years, while IPS had slimmed down its original ask of close to $750 million to $315 million.

“Over the last four months we’ve worked closely with Superintendent Ferebee and his team,” said Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber. “Tonight, this work is paying off in a plan that’s realistic for our largest school system, reasonable for our taxpayers, and recognizes the value of great teachers and principals.”

“We appreciate the involvement of the Chamber as we envision the future of our district – we knew this process wouldn’t always be easy, and more difficult decisions are ahead of us,” said Superintendent Lewis Ferebee. “Looking forward, we’ll need the support of the Chamber and other community partners more than ever to pursue efficiencies and preserve educational options and learning opportunities for our students.”

In June, the district’s school board voted to approve the capital referendum following a public meeting. Both referendums will be on the November ballot.