January 8, 2024

Center Grove superintendent faces state investigation, retires

Rich Arkanoff faces investigation by Indiana State Police and State Board of Accounts, said the Center Grove Community Schools Board. Arkanoff was the district superintendent for 12 years and submitted his retirement for January 5, 2024. - Center Grove Community Schools / Facebook

Rich Arkanoff faces investigation by Indiana State Police and State Board of Accounts, said the Center Grove Community Schools Board. Arkanoff was the district superintendent for 12 years and submitted his retirement for January 5, 2024.

Center Grove Community Schools / Facebook
This story was originally published Friday, Jan. 5, 2023. It has been updated.

The Center Grove Schools Board announced Friday they are working with law enforcement to investigate former Superintendent Rich Arkanoff. The Indiana K-12 education leader retired the same day.

“While we appreciate Dr. Arkanoff’s more than 12 years of service to our school corporation, the Board and Business Department are working with the State Board of Accounts and Indiana State Police to investigate inconsistencies with his time off and reimbursement tracking,” the school board said in a statement sent to families and posted on its website.

The board said it will make no additional comments during the ongoing investigation.

Arkanoff submitted a request to retire effective Friday, according to the board. He could not be reached for comment.

The school board held a closed door meeting Tuesday. The online agenda notices the reason for the executive session as: "to discuss a job performance evaluation of individual employees."

Arkanoff is well known in Indiana education. Last year, he was named the 2023-24 president of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. He is no longer eligible to continue that role, according to the association, because he is not an active superintendent.

When and how Arkanoff’s alleged inconsistencies came under scrutiny received no explanation in the board's statement. But the board said it expects the scope of the police and state investigation to be limited to the superintendent’s personal time off and reimbursements.

A State Board of Accounts representative confirmed Monday that the agency is "conducting a special examination" at the school district but could not provide more details until a final report is issued.

The most recent publicly available State Board of Accounts audits of the district do not identify noncompliance issues related directly to Arkanoff.

Center Grove Community Schools in Johnson County enrolls around 9,600 students. The student body is about 77 percent White and 26 percent qualify for free or reduced meals – the national metric for calculating student poverty.

The 2023 graduation rate for Center Grove High School was nearly 98 percent.

Arkanoff was one of the highest-paid superintendents in the state. Last school year his base pay was $242,014. His total compensation, including benefits, was $322,379, according to state data.

The Center Grove board will vote Wednesday to appoint Assistant Superintendent Bill Long as the interim superintendent. Long has worked at the district in an administrator role since 1998.

Eric Weddle is the education editor at WFYI. Contact Eric at eweddle@wfyi.org.

Support independent journalism today. You rely on WFYI to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Donate to power our nonprofit reporting today. Give now.

 

Related News

Indiana’s FAFSA deadline is here. High schools don’t know who has filed
All-girls charter school approved by City-County Council to open in Washington Township
How an Indianapolis teacher is using the solar eclipse to inspire her students