Rhondalyn Cornett, 55, was also ordered to pay more than $154,000 in restitution to the Indianapolis Education Association and will serve two years of probation.
Throughout Indianapolis, where the school system allows parents to choose where their children attend, enrollment for the next academic year is in upheaval as families and schools grapple with urgent crises.
Noting that state revenue is “going to diminish significantly,” IPS Board President Michael O’Connor said at Thursday’s board meeting that the district must “be prepared to make some very conservative, very difficult decisions about preparing for those cuts.”
Indiana Charter School Board Executive Director James Betley said Enroll Indy gives the city’s most disadvantaged families access to school choices through a transparent lottery system.
The agenda was pared down to items that staff considered urgent: It included votes on approving new, outside managers for four campuses next year—all of which passed—and a resolution to give Superintendent Aleesia Johnson extra flexibility in staffing during the current crisis.
Following a successful school-funding referendum in 2018, IPS has doled out millions of dollars in raises to most staff. That boost in pay has been a boon for district teachers, but it has left the city’s charter schools at a disadvantage.
The State Board of Education’s decision to end the takeover confirmed the waning enthusiasm in Indiana for state oversight of failing schools. But it also revealed how much Indianapolis Public Schools has transformed in recent years.
Nearly eight years after Indiana seized three struggling campuses from Indianapolis Public Schools, the State Board of Education voted Wednesday to hand the schools back, bringing to a close a turnaround experiment that sparked enduring change in the state’s largest district.
The graduation rate at Emmerich Manual High School plummeted to 57% last year after a state audit found the school did not have the proper documentation for many of the students designated as leaving to be home-schooled.
A month after its bid for charters was rejected by a state authorizer, a not-for-profit with ties to Charter Schools USA appears to be looking for another backer—raising concerns that Indiana law makes it too easy to shop around for a friendly overseer.
Christel House Academy, a politically influential charter network, wants to relocate its south-side school to Manual High School if oversight of that campus is returned to Indianapolis Public Schools.
The Indianapolis Public Schools board decision comes just weeks before the Indiana Charter Schools Board is set to decide whether to grant charters to CSUSA to continue running Donnan and two other Indianapolis campuses—Howe and Manual high schools—that were also taken over by the state.
A 2018 voter-backed referendum funded the latest round of pay increases. Some teachers will see their salaries go up by as much as $9,400 this year, a significant increase designed to account for years of recession-era pay freezes.
Potential partners include one of the city’s earliest charter networks, a campus with a mindfulness focus, and a school for teens who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.
Thrival Academy, a program that took a year-long “pause” to overhaul its approach—will reopen as a four-year high school with a first-year enrollment of about 75 ninth graders who will prepare to study abroad as juniors.
Teachers across the district would see substantial pay increases under the proposal, with the district’s starting salary for teachers rising to $45,200 this school year, according to a union official.
The newly released data, which comes from annual state-mandated disclosures, is the first indication of how members have responded to the Indianapolis Education Association’s tumultuous year.
The Relay Graduate School of Education opened a campus in Indianapolis this year and is training its first class of 10 students, with plans to expand locally in the coming years.
Hope Academy, which opened in 2006 inside the Fairbanks Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center in Lawrence Township, aims to move closer to downtown and develop stronger partnerships with Marion County school districts.
When students are recorded as leaving for home schools in Indiana, they’re left out of a school’s graduation calculations, as though they never attended at all.