The Indianapolis Public Schools $24 million budget shortfall led to reports of teacher lay-offs and other cost-cutting strategies. However, at the last moment, a local entrepreneur has stepped forward to save the day.
The locally-based Malarky Welcome Mats, whose charming images and sayings adorn porches across the nation and beyond, has committed a $50 million contribution to IPS over the next 10 years.
In a press conference held at School 13 and a half yesterday, Malarky Welcome Mats CEO Matthew "Mat" Malarky told the assembled crowd that he's "proud as punch as a native Indianapolisan to help contribute to the betterment of the public school system."
While Malarky spoke, the strains of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" could be heard playing over the PA system.
In exchange for their contribution, IPS will now sport a new look, including a new name, Malarky Welcome Mats School System (MWMSS). Each school will of course have a Malarky Welcome Mat outside each and every classroom door. And each student in the system will get to wear Malarky Welcome Mats patches on their backpacks and shirts.
"Small price to pay," said IPS spokesperson Tim "Mouthy" Matheson, "for raising the bar at the end of the day's bottom line going forward."
Other proposals include engaging the IPS students in new curriculum areas, such as gourd carving, windchime construction and mat-making, what Malarky terms "real world skill sets for the logistics economy."