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IPS plans to share $5 million in referendum funds with innovation schools

Posted at 12:32 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 12:32:26-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools plans to share millions of dollars with innovation schools within the district.

The school board began looking at the plan Tuesday night and will vote on the proposal Nov. 18. Under the plan, 25 charter schools — known as IPS Innovation Network Schools — which serve IPS students would split $5 million a year from the referendum fund voters approved in 2018.

In 2018, Marion County voters approved about $220 million to support expenses such as teacher pay and student services and $52 million to focus on capital improvements to help with building maintenance.

The total of the referendum passed in 2018 was $257 million.

The IPS School Board of Commissioners are reviewing a proposal that would benefit 10,000 students who attend innovation schools, which are independently run, but their students are still considered part of the IPS system.

The plan to share referendum dollars with the 25 schools through the year 2026 may cause a financial strain for the district.

"Really any solution we bring we will have an impact on our budget," said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. "We know that even as we make investments that are right for staff and students, there is a long-term fiscal sustainability that we have to keep our eye on and be laser-focused on."