IPS To Strip Sports, Activities From Failing Schools

4 Schools Being Taken Over By State Will Lose Programs

Facing down a $33 million deficit, Indianapolis Public Schools plans to cut sports and extracurricular activities at four schools being taken over by the state next year.

The Indiana Board of Education last month overwhelmingly approved the takeover of Arlington, Manual and Howe high schools and Emma Donnan Middle School.

IPS Superintendent Eugene White told 6News' Rafael Sanchez that the district will discontinue funding for sports, specialty programs and extracurricular activities at the schools.

"I now have to compete against those organizations, so we have to have the best programs we can to be attractive to parents and students we serve," he said, referring to the state-assigned turnaround operators. "Why wouldn't we take our best programs with us?"

Marcus Robinson, the CEO of EdPower, which will take over Arlington High School, said he doesn't expect IPS to pay for extra programs, but he's counting on many things to be left behind.

"That's about algebra books, computers, the whole nine. We're hopeful that we'll find the capital that belongs to the school still in the school when we occupy it next summer," he said.

Florida-based Charter Schools USA will take over the other three schools.

"It's certainly our intent is to keep as much extracurricular programming as possible," said Vice President of Development Richard Page.

Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said he wants to ensure extracurricular programs are not cut.

"We are committed to doing that. We are committed to making sure that adults don't get in the way of providing services for children," he said.

White stressed that all athletic and extracurricular equipment will stay at the schools.

"We would not deprive them (the students) of the equipment, the uniforms and all those types of things. They have to have that," he said.

All teachers at the failing schools will have to reapply for their jobs. EdPower will have a website up and running by December. Charter Schools USA plans to begin the hiring process next year.

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