The proposed request—which comes three months after the school district abruptly withdrew referendums from the May ballot—is the first piece of a new plan to increase school funding.
The school district’s decision to postpone planned ballot measures for $725 million raises questions about why leadership couldn’t get it right the first time.
Indianapolis Public Schools is backing off on its plan to ask voters in May to support a major tax hike to pay for the city’s schools, instead deciding to work with the Indy Chamber to revise its proposal and delay the referendums until November.
The House Ways and Means committee on Tuesday made big changes before unanimously passing Senate Bill 50.
Leaders of the $10.3 million Riverside High School project on the west side—a sister to Herron High School and set to open in the fall—have cobbled together several funding sources to finance the project.
District leaders said that in the face of declining state and federal funding, raising property taxes is the only tool IPS has to fund teacher raises, building maintenance, busing and quality special ed programs.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said there would be “no more stove-pipe approach,” referring to criticisms by some legislative leaders that the workforce development system is convoluted and divided into isolated silos.
Indiana Virtual School has attracted thousands of students but graduated very few. A Chalkbeat Indiana investigation found the school’s founder hired his own company to manage the school, for which it received millions of dollars.
A state-appointed emergency manager began operating the school district six weeks ago after elected trustees failed to pass balanced budgets and ran up more than $100 million in debt.
Officials want to boost Indiana’s college attainment rate from 41 percent to 60 percent by 2025 and think targeting people who have shown an interest in school but never finished may be the fastest way to get there.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is among several well-known names slated to appear Monday in Indianapolis at the annual summit for the American Federation of Children.
Carmel Clay Schools and the Sheridan Community School Corp. had proposed seven-year tax hikes for operational funding, and Westfield Washington Schools asked taxpayers to cover the costs of $90 million in construction projects.
An education advocacy group has sued the state and a controversial charter school, seeking to block funding because the group argues that it is unconstitutional for private religious institutions to approve charter schools, which are funded by tax dollars.
Over six years, the state has spent more than a half billion dollars on vouchers. During that time, Indiana’s program has expanded, giving more students access to vouchers than in any other state—despite mixed evidence from researchers that vouchers help students achieve.
Joining the IPS innovation network would give Herron access to additional funding, but it would retain most of its independence. Herron’s head of school said the move "will not impact students in any way."
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said he believes the district will “absolutely” need to have a referendum for more funding to pay teachers at the current rate and potentially increase pay in the future.
Suburban schools, English-learners and virtual schools would fare well under the Indiana House’s 2017 budget plan, while Indianapolis Public Schools and other urban districts would see drops in state support.
The voucher language has injected some controversy into a bill that has received bipartisan support.