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IPS Asks Taxpayers for Nearly $1 Billion

Money would go toward improvements, operating expenses.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Public Schools has plans to ask the community to vote for a multi-million-dollar plan to cover school improvements and operating expenses, but the initial amount requested could be much higher. 

Several reports by other media outlets on the requested amount have been inaccurate, said IPS spokesperson Robert Vane. 

IPS said the money would go toward special education resources, teacher raises and building improvements.

The operating referendum would generate $92 million as an annual allocation for eight calendar years. The capital referendum would generate a one-time amount of $200 million to fund the Safe and Equitable Schools Project.

Overall, $736 million will go toward operating expenses plus $200 million for capital, which brings the amount to a total of $936 million. 

IPS officials said the plan would cost the average taxpayer about $28 per month.

"State of public funding has changed dramatically over the years from federal and state perspective and tax credits," said IPS Chief of Staff Ahmed Young. "We need to be more strategic with how we serve our students and families in the center of Indianapolis."

Young said building upgrades are needed.

"Making sure we address deferred maintenance. Make sure that we have equitable schools throughout our organization also thinking about the welfare of our students and also thinking about safety and welfare of out students making sure we have schools that are well lit and secure," he said.

In 2008, voters approved a $278 million proposal to upgrade school heating and cooling systems and science labs. 

In September, IPS voted to close Broad Ripple, Arlington and Northwest High Schools due to declining enrollment. 

IPS will hold public meetings on Dec. 12 and Dec. 14 to take public input before the school board votes.

(PHOTO BY RTV6)

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