A decision by the Indiana Board of Education to give $13.9 million to two special management teams overseeing four underperforming Indianapolis Public Schools will be appealed by the IPS Board of Commissioners.
The board voted unanimously this week to appeal. IPS Superintendent Eugene G. White said that the state's funding formula was based on last fall's enrollment numbers, which would give the turnaround operators more money than they need.
"The State Board of Education wants to use the September 2011 enrollment of these four schools as the basis for funding," White said. "At that time, there were 3,810 students at the schools. Today, only 2,138 students have either selected to attend a turnaround academy in 2012-13 or have defaulted to the turnaround academy because they did not choose to attend either IPS or the turnaround."
The turnaround operators, Charter Schools USA, which will oversee Emma Donnan Middle School and Manual and Howe high schools, and EdPower, which will oversee Arlington High School, would get more than $5 million dollars that White said should stay with IPS.
IPS argues the school's tuition should be recalculated using the actual enrollment in September 2012. In Indiana, school funding is based on enrollment.
Richard Page, Charter Schools USA vice president of development, said his organization's current plan is based on the original $13.9 million figure and would have to adjust in line with any funding changes.
"We're focused on implementing our program and we'll change our budget based on what the state says the funding is," Page said. "We believe it's important that there is adequate funding for the students, to be sure."
Charter Schools Chief Executive Jonathon Hage a one-time Gov. Jeb Bush education advisor and co-author of Florida's charter schools law, will present the company's plan for the future of its Indianapolis turnaround schools in the James Whitcomb Riley Conference Room at 151 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis, June 6 at 9 p.m.
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