The Indianapolis Public Schools commissioner board Tuesday night considered possible changes to its agreement with local charter school operator KIPP Indy Public Schools.
The most notable change would be to transportation, a service KIPP Indy elementary and middle schools currently purchase from the district on a per-student basis. Under new agreements, the district would provide transportation to KIPP Indy’s middle and elementary schools for free.
“It brings the agreements more in line with our other charter partners that are in IPS facilities,” IPS Portfolio Officer Jamie VanDeWalle says, “then allows students to access the benefit of services that we fund through our local tax dollars.”
Charter schools only receive state funding dollars, while IPS receives both state and local tax dollars. Transportation in IPS is funded primarily through local tax dollars. This change would allow KIPP Indy Public Schools students –– who are counted as IPS students by the state –– to receive some of the same benefits.
KIPP Indy Public Schools is the district’s only charter partner housed in IPS facilities paying for transportation.
VanDeWalle says the district wants to support KIPP Indy because it serves a low-income student population and has shown strong academic growth.
The board will vote on the agreements this Thursday.
It will also vote on whether to partner with the soon-to-open KIPP Indy Legacy High School, which under current agreements would purchase transportation from IPS. The high school wouldn't be provided free transportation from IPS because the new school isn’t housed in an IPS building. The district does not transport any students to a non-IPS facility.