Citing concerns from the public and the business community, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners voted today to move its operating and capital referenda from May’s primary election to November’s general election.
The vote was unanimous. Officials say while they were comfortable with their nearly $728 million request, over eight years, for teacher salaries and capital improvements, concerns over the numbers by the business community and the general public compelled them to put the request on hold.
Between now and November, IPS says it will hold additional community forums, engage with parents and families, meet with neighborhood groups and partner with the Indy Chamber to dive deeper into current operations and finances.
In addition. over the next 120 days, the Indy Chamber will conduct a strategic review of all IPS business functions. Superintendent Lewis Ferebee says he and the IPS Board will collaborate as an active partner in the review and establish a prioritization and implementation plan.
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You can hear Ferebee, IPS Board President Mike O’Connor as well as Indy Chamber President Michael Huber in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.
Part one is the announcement, while part two is questions from the media.
IPS had originally asked for nearly $1 billion over the next eight years, however, the district scaled back that request due to public concerns.
Without referendum funds, IPS says it could be forced to freeze teacher and employee compensation, reduce educational programs for students, reduce the quality of services for students with special needs, continue to defer building maintenance and scale back transportation services.