November 10, 2022

The latest on IPS’ ‘Rebuilding Stronger’ plan and what comes next

The Indianapolis Public Schools board of commissioners will vote on the "Rebuilding Stronger" plan during their action session on Nov. 17. -  Elizabeth Gabriel/WFYI

The Indianapolis Public Schools board of commissioners will vote on the "Rebuilding Stronger" plan during their action session on Nov. 17.

Elizabeth Gabriel/WFYI

In September, the Indianapolis Public Schools district announced an expansive plan to overhaul the district. The proposal – known as “Rebuilding Stronger” – would involve closing or merging six schools and opening two new middle schools. The K-8 grade configuration would end, and elementary schools would become K-5. It would also establish enrollment zones so all city neighborhoods would have similar access to different choice schools.

The announcement came after a year of community meetings to discuss which programs should be expanded while also addressing ways to reallocate the district’s budget. IPS staff have predicted the district will have a financial deficit beginning in 2023 that could grow to $25 million annually by 2027.

The following are the schools suggested for closure and consolidation at the end of this school year:  

  • George Buck School 94; Floro Torrence School 83; Raymond Brandes School 65; and Francis Bellamy Pre-School Center and Step Ahead Program will close.
  • Francis Parker School 56 would close and merge with James Russell Lowell School 51. School 51 becomes a Montessori program.

For detailed information on changes to your school, search this database:

The district hopes the changes will address issues like lagging student achievement, declining enrollment, unstable finances and aging facilities. To pay for construction costs and to support staff compensation, IPS plans to ask voters to approve a $410 million capital referendum to cover the cost of new facilities and building improvements, and a $400 million operating referendum for staff compensation in the May 2023 election. 

The IPS board of commissioners is scheduled to vote on the plan during their work session on Nov. 17.

Read WFYI’s continuing coverage of the “Rebuilding Stronger” plan and the community response:

IPS board unanimously approves massive overhaul to close schools, change grades, published Nov. 18, 2022

The Indianapolis Public Schools board unanimously approved a plan Thursdsay to overhaul the district by closing six school buildings, changing grade configurations and establishing eight middle schools.

IPS community braces for vote to close, reshape schools in Rebuilding Stronger plan, published Nov. 17, 2022

Some community members are in favor of the Rebuilding Stronger plan, but those voices seem outnumbered by the families and educators asking the district board to vote it down or delay the decision.

IPS could ask voters to approve $810M referendums for ‘Rebuilding Stronger' plan, published Oct. 27, 2022

IPS announced the final version of the  “Rebuilding Stronger” plan and it requires voters to approve $810 million in two property tax referendums.

If approved, the new referendums would replace the current referendums voters approved in 2018 for $220 million in general spending and $52 million for capital projects.

As IPS prepares to share final restructuring proposal, some community members are worried, published Oct. 11, 2022

Many community members remain critical of the “Rebuilding Stronger” plan, including some children, parents and teachers at the Near Southeast side Frederick Douglass SUPER School 19. They feel betrayed by the Rebuilding Stronger plan, which includes closing nearby Paul Miller School 114, and students and staff transfer to School 19.

Purdue Polytechnic High might stay in former Broad Ripple High School building, published Oct. 7, 2022

In the “Rebuilding Stronger” plan, IPS suggests sharing the Broad Ripple High school building between PPHS North, a STEM-focused school that is part of IPS’ innovation charter network, and a new middle school.

Candidates for IPS school board would vote no on Rebuilding Stronger, published Oct. 6, 2022

All four candidates for the Indianapolis Public Schools board would vote against the district’s current Rebuilding Stronger proposal, they said during a candidate forum hosted by Chalkbeat Indiana and WFYI.

IPS teachers are concerned about the district’s proposed changes, published Sept. 30, 2022

Members of the Indianapolis Education Association, the district’s teachers union, want IPS to be more transparent about the impact of the “Rebuilding Stronger” plan and commit to not allowing non-union charter schools to be opened inside district school buildings if they are shuttered.

IPS would close schools under expansive restructure proposal, published Sept. 13, 2022

IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson announced the first version of the “Rebuilding Stronger” plan in the annual state of the district speech.

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

HSE names State Board of Education member as superintendent after former leader’s controversial departure
Students are taking IREAD now. Here’s what to know about Indiana’s elementary literacy test
Board of Trustees votes to keep Kinsey Institute at IU