IPS To Sue State Over School Takeover

The School Board approved the plan to file suit by a 4-3 vote.

School chairs

Photo: Ben Skirvin/WFIU News

Most of Indiana's charter schools are located in two urban areas. Indianapolis and Gary/East Chicago.

The Indianapolis Public School system plans to file a lawsuit against the state if the Department of Education moves forward with the takeover of some of the district’s high schools.

IPS Superintendent Eugene White says four of the six Indianapolis schools eligible for state action should have been taken off probation. The four in question are high schools that include seventh and eighth grades. White says the scores used to measure improvement should have only included the high school grades and not the lower ones as well.

He says the lawsuit is necessary because the Department of Education’s decisions are motivated by politics.

“We want a third opinion,” White said. “We don’t believe that these four schools were treated fairly in the tabulation.”

The School Board approved the plan to file suit by a 4 to 3 vote. Dissenting members were concerned about the length of the legal action and its cost. Others wondered why it took so long to appeal the case.

“Why is it that we waited this late in the ballgame to appeal?” School board member Samantha Adair-White asked. “Why did we wait until five years later?”

White says IPS will present its case to the State Board of Education at its meeting Monday. If the Board still approves the takeover White says the district will then file the lawsuit.

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