By Andrew Pillow
Indianapolis Public Schools aims to close 3 of its high schools in 2018-19. Years of declining enrollment and rising infrastructure costs have created a situation where IPS feels like it needs to act to save money. The goal is for IPS to operate only 4 high schools in the 2018-19 school year and thus save around $4 million per year.
"After reviewing facility utilization data, the Taskforce identified IPS high schools as having the greatest potential for improving operational efficiency in the district. The Taskforce recommends that the district operate four high schools beginning in SY2018-19. For SY2017-18, the district will operate seven high schools; thus, the Taskforce recommends operating three fewer high schools in SY2018-19 than it will during SY2017-18. The Taskforce found that by rightsizing the high school facilities portfolio, IPS could save over $4 million per year.
Operating high schools under a more efficient model would allow IPS to re-invest these inefficiently allocated resources to expand upon the successes the district has achieved to date. IPS could push the dollars saved directly to students and teachers through investments in teacher compensation and direct services to students. The continued operation of too many underutilized high schools presents a significant barrier to ensuring that the greatest possible portion of district funding is allocated to classrooms."
It is unclear which schools will be closed. The board plans to vote on the recommendation and subsequent closings. Community members are encouraged to offer feedback here.
Read more here.
Read the full taskforce recommendation here.