Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Dear Community Member,
The IPS Community Coalition encourages you to speak your truth to the 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. The system of schools that has been created by both Republicans and Democrats at every level of government is creating chaos in our schools, and hurting student and communities. 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 unchecked and rapid expansion of charter schools takes both students and funding away from existing traditional public schools. The vast majority of children attend traditional public schools. Our state legislature has not increased funding for our education system to make sure that schools can continue operating without having to cut staffing and other resources. As IPS has closed schools and is still determining which additional schools to close in order to save money, the Mind Trust, and the Mayor’s office are busy approving more charter programs to be opened within the IPS district. Do you need another school in your neighborhood? Or do you need the school that exists to be fully funded and have a competent principal and administration?
Too many charter programs push out “undesirable” students who end up back in traditional IPS schools, or simply move from school to school to school. Students with special needs, or English Language Learners are especially underserved by charter schools. Children need stability to learn—all schools should be fully funded in order to meet the needs of their students, families and communities. ALL students should have a licensed teacher in their classrooms, and wrap around services to help them develop and learn.
Innovation schools are now being pushed to take over “failing” schools. These are charter schools within the IPS school district. They have their own appointed school boards. Like all charter schools, they are publicly funded but privately managed, and therefore not truly accountable to your communities. And although under the IPS umbrella, they by law do not have to abide by policies required by the elected IPS school board. If your school is pegged for innovation restart, the district will not ask your opinion until the very end of the process—in February at the earliest. The innovation contracts are approved by the IPS board in March. You don’t truly have a voice.
The IPS Community Coalition has been advocating for better community engagement. You deserve more than a few weeks of input, when your school is pegged for either closure or to become an innovation charter school. To learn more, see the links on "What We Do." 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=1MZErzM8CcFoZPdhiknGW3w8aS46-nqZG
IPS Community Coalition