Letter: IPS no-bid contracts put students in peril

As a district parent, I’m appalled the Indianapolis Public Schools board has approved a five-year, no-bid contract to unvetted, startup online businesses at great expense to taxpayers [IPS students who opt to stay virtual must move to charters, June 4].

An unknown sum is now committed for five years without proper vetting.

Superintendent Aleesia Johnson offered no alternatives and claimed there will be monthly monitoring of Paramount and Phalen online programs. What became clear at the board meeting, though, is that there is no recourse when those assessments show failure. For five years, taxpayers are liable for these experimental businesses. Meanwhile, she is cutting public teacher jobs and transportation for our families.

The failure of programs like this at Manual High School should be a wakeup call to all taxpayers. Dozens of students at Manual were pushed to online learning and called “home schooled” to avoid the data of calling them what they became—drop-outs. The district quietly swept this under the rug.

There is simply no transparency from IPS. Neither parents nor educators are ever properly consulted, and students continue to be disrupted and suffer from the district’s business-first policies that put money in the pockets of their allies.

Despite the marketing claims, IPS does not advocate for our students and our community.

We the people of Indianapolis must hold IPS accountable for poor management of our community’s most important public institution.


Alan Schoff

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