Indianapolis Public Schools needs more than it gets

July 27, 2009

Thank you for the [July 13] editorial re Indianapolis Public Schools/school funding.

This year will be our 18th year as IPS parents. My husband and I are college graduates, upper-middle class. He is employed full time and I’m self-employed part-time. We chose to stay in IPS and try to make a difference for the many classmates that have no one rooting for them at home.

I’ve been able to go on field trips, help in the classroom or help teachers or administration. Your statement that the people leaving are *not the ones who need the services is so true. That’s pretty much the way it is with who leaves IPS to go to charters also—it takes a parent taking that first step of applying for a charter and willing to sign the contracts to live up to their responsibility.

I have been so irritated by people in Fishers who reduce the funding to a simple mathematical formula: IPS has three times the money and only twice the number of children.

Hamilton Southeastern statistics? Eleven percent free/reduced textbooks/lunch students, and I couldn’t even find statistics on homeless children (1,585 in IPS). Per-capita income is $32,000, versus IPS: $17,000. Three percent of adults have less than a high school degree; IPS: over 28 percent. 1.7 percent of families live below poverty; IPS: 24 percent.

In the Carmel school district there are schools that literally have to put parent volunteers on a schedule because there are more than they can accommodate.

We tried to garner a volunteer day at Broad Ripple last year—five parents came out. I’m doing well when fund-raisers raised almost $1,000 this year. Athletic programs have no funding for equipment. Magnet programs have almost no funding for supplies—pretty hard to run a quality vocal, instrumental or theater program on a pittance.

Thank you again for the well-researched and well-written article.

Juli Van Wyk

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