Cash-strapped IPS to dismiss 23 administrators

February 26, 2014

The Indianapolis Public Schools board voted Tuesday night to dismiss 23 administrators, including the principals of seven of its schools, at the end of this academic year.

The non-renewal of the administrators’ contracts is the latest move initiated by new IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee to shake up the 30,000-student district. Ferebee has also pushed for legislation that would allow IPS to share its buildings, buses and other services with charter schools, possibly saving money.

Ferebee told the IPS board that the administrator dismissals were designed to save money and bring in more effective leaders.

“In an effort to streamline organizational structure for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness, contracts of certain central services and building administrators will not be renewed for the 2014-2015 school year,” Ferebee stated in the agenda item recommending the dismissals.

Before the cuts, IPS employed 171 administrators and 24 human resources staff members, according to an operational analysis of IPS released Monday by the Indy Chamber.

The system faces a $30 million budget deficit. Personnel costs make up about 90 percent of IPS’ general fund budget of $263.7 million, leading the 60-member Indy Chamber committee that analyzed IPS' finances to call for cuts in that area.

“The recommendation to better manage this headcount is critical to closing the projected budget deficit,” the report stated in its conclusion.

IPS has a separate budget of $170 million for transportation, capital projects, debt service, pensions and its rainy day fund.

The IPS administrators that will be out of a job include Jacqueline Greenwood and Joan Harrell, who are the executive directors of secondary and elementary education, respectively, as well as Yvonne Rambo, the director of IPS's turnaround schools.

Six principals being let go lead elementary schools: the Nicholson Performing Arts Academy, George H. Fisher School 93, Elder W. Diggs School 42, Eliza A. Blaker School 55, William Penn School 49 and the Wendell Phillips School 63.

The other principal, Elizabeth Owens, leads McFarland Middle School.

Also, eight assistant or associate principals will be dismissed from four high schools: Northwest, Broad Ripple, George Washington and John Marshall.

A complete list of those being dismissed can be found here.


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