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White poised to step down as chief of IPS

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Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White plans to step down and may announce he is doing so by end of the day, sources told IBJ.

White, 65, has led IPS for seven years, and his contract extends to 2015. His decision to depart early follows the Nov. 6 election of reform-minded school board candidates who have questioned whether he is the right leader for the district.

White on Monday afternoon denied to IBJ that he planned to resign. But three sources familiar with the situation said they expected him to announce his departure Tuesday. A fourth anticipated he would do so by the end of the week.

It’s not clear how quickly White would officially leave his post.

White’s future became cloudy after reform-minded candidates Caitlin Hannon, Gayle Cosby and Sam Odle were elected Nov. 6. The outcome gave reformers a strong majority on the seven-member panel. White previously had enjoyed strong backing.

IPS has been under fire after decades of decline. It has lost more than 5,000 students to charter schools in recent years and saw 350 of its students sign up for vouchers to attend private schools.

Survey results released late last year show a majority of district residents are dissatisfied with the school system.

In December 2011, education-reform group The Mind Trust proposed a series of sweeping changes, including transferring control of the district to the mayor of Indianapolis.

 

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