IPS board approves job cuts

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The Indianapolis Public Schools board passed a recommendation by the interim superintendent to cut more than 100 jobs from the district.

The vote will eliminate 109 positions, reducing $6.5 million in personnel salaries from the district's budget. Most of the jobs are administrators and school support staff, but 30 middle and high school teaching positions are being eliminated.

"This is necessary. We need to get better and to get stronger," said Commissioner Gayle Cosby in a statement from IPS.

The cuts were proposed by interim superintendent Dr. Peggy Hinckley.

"The goal from the beginning has been to protect the classroom and that is what we are doing. Working hard to limit the impact on students and to ensure we utilize all reasonable measures to direct funding for student achievement," said Dr. Hinckley.

The board had already made $3.5 million in cost savings reductions, bringing the total to $10 million. IPS is facing a $30 million General Fund deficit.

Some board members tried to delay Tuesday's vote, but the rest of the board refused.

"If this goes much longer for people who have the opportunity to be employed, if they are still hanging on with the hope their jobs are going to be saved, they may not have employment when that time comes," said IPS board member Diane Arnold.

More cuts could come, including closing school buildings after IPS finds a new superintendent.

The district is in the process of interviewing three candidates for superintendent. That decision is expected to be made this Saturday.