Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Dear community member,
The IPS Community Coalition encourages you to speak your truth to power in IPS. For too long parents, students, custodians, transportation staff, teachers, support staff, and the community at large have been disempowered by district administration, the IPS school board, and local, state, and federal government representatives. Parents are NOT at fault for choosing charter schools for their children. But the system that has been created is unjust and hurts children living in poverty, and black and brown communities the most.
The search for the next IPS superintendent is incredibly important. The superintendent sets the tone for the district and the policy priorities. Our previous superintendent prioritized closing and selling buildings, giving buildings to charter schools, lobbying for Innovation Network legislation at the Statehouse—the agenda of the Mind Trust and Stand for Children. He also replaced many administrators who had long been with the district—those who replaced them, many themselves are no longer with the district. As a result, our most vulnerable students are not better off.
The current interim superintendent, before being promoted to deputy superintendent six months ago, was director of the innovation office at IPS since its beginning. She was directly responsible for determining which schools were “failing” and giving them over to a charter “partners”—by state law these schools do not have to abide by policies created by the elected IPS school board. The board and district have no actual power to ensure these partners are doing what they stated they would. Of the 20 programs now Innovation within our district, six of the schools were restarts, or takeovers of “failing” schools. Three of them are still failing even though they are graded on an easier growth only scale compared to the rest of the district.
Additionally, the IPS school board voted to provide FREE transportation for two KIPP charter innovation schools. These charter schools receive funding from the state for transportation that they now get to keep. This takes money directly from IPS students. At the same time, the IPS district announced it can’t afford the transportation system it has currently so it will be cutting $111M in transportation over eight years. The district is also looking to cut $97M in facilities—meaning more school closures even as charter partners exist in IPS-owned buildings for free.
Do you need the district, the Mind Trust, and Stand for Children to continue bringing in more charter partners to take over schools in your neighborhood? Or do you need the school that exists to be fully funded and have a competent principal and administration? And for your children to have a well-rounded education with art and music courses and recess for all elementary-age students?
We need a superintendent that will evaluate whether or not these restarts of “failing” IPS schools actually work, and whether IPS can financially sustain the innovation network. To learn more, see the links on the back of this page. But more importantly, raise your voice and speak your truth! Your children and your communities deserve it.
View full newsletter here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=14F3precxhkkXyO44e6HDFI7fBy0_-xnQ
The IPS Community Coalition