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IPS Commissioner LaNier Echols resigns seat

Posted at 5:10 PM, Nov 07, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Public School Commissioner LaNier Echols announced her resignation Monday just two years into her first term on the board.

Echols was elected to the IPS Board in 2014 along with fellow commissioners Mary Ann Sullivan and Kelly Bentley – helped in no small part by massive donations from outside groups that dwarfed those raised by the incumbents they were challenging. The fundraising disparity, compounded by independent expenditures from organizations like Stand for Children, was covered heavily by the education journalism non-profit Chalkbeat in 2014.

Echols defeated the board's longest-serving member, Michael Brown, and helped switch the majority of the board to pro-school reformers favoring expansion of charter schools in the district.

At the time of her election, Echols was the principal at the Carpe Diem Meridian charter school on north Meridian Street.

On Monday, Echols released a statement through the IPS Board announcing her departure:

"It is with sadness that I leave a role where we have worked hard to ensure that every child had access to an excellent education. I joined Indianapolis Public School board to serve the 33,000 children in the district but after the loss of my father and birth of my son, the importance of family grew greater. 

I'd like to extend a huge thank you to the many individuals, former students, colleagues and organizations that have supported me in this effort; your support was not taken for granted.

Lastly, it is my hope that the newly elected board selects someone who loves children, will put children first and will keep moving Indianapolis Public Schools in a positive direction." 

The IPS Board of Commissioners will have 30 days to fill Echols' District 5 seat. Interested candidates must live within the district.