The challenges facing the interim superintendent at Indianapolis Public Schools are daunting. Peggy Hinckley knows the state's second largest school district is facing a $30 million budget deficit and declining enrollment. She told Eyewitness News there will be no miracles in her three- to four-month term, but there will likely be layoffs.
"This is a very hard job. It's a complex job," said Hinckley.
"The biggest challenge facing IPS is the achievement level of some schools that have been chronically underperforming schools. We have a $30 million budget deficit in the general fund and a $10 million deficit in the transportation fund," she said.
Hinckley says a reorganization process and enrollment projections are underway to make sure IPS is streamlined and schools are ready to open next school year. Since enrollment declined by a thousand students last year, there may be cuts in staffing.
"Will there be teachers laid off?" Eyewitness News asked.
"Right now, I think we may be repositioning positions but I haven't looked at the staffing yet to see what that is," she said. "I don't think we're going to have massive layoffs. I think that's a fair statement. I think where we have layoffs will be filled mostly through attrition."
Hinckley also revised a proposal for full-day pre-school that removes nearly a million dollars in transportation costs to transport pre-schoolers.
"That really translates to about 15 teacher cuts in the most needy Title One schools and that doesn't pass my common sense test. We believe because most of these pre-school schools will be located in existing schools and neighborhoods. Parents will be able to get their children to schools there," she said.
Any proposals for full-day pre-school would take effect during the 2013-2014 school year.