Interim Indianapolis Public Schools superintendent Peggy Hinckley eyeing central office staff cuts

Eugene White's last day to be Friday

INDIANAPOLIS - Outgoing Indianapolis Public Schools' Superintendent Eugene White's last day on the job will be Friday, while his interim replacement is already eyeing staffing cuts.

Peggy Hinckley will take the reins of the district as the interim superintendent starting Monday, the district confirmed.

White's last day in the office will be Friday, although he will remain on leave until his contract expires in April.

Hinckley, who served as Warren Township superintendent from 2001 to 2012, said she has no interest in the permanent IPS job, but said she is committed to improving the district during her time in charge.

She said she plans to focus on 40 schools that have been identified as underperforming, and will also look at trimming staffing levels in the central office.

"Are we providing the necessary remediation to children that need that assistance? People tell me we are, but if we were we wouldn't have so many chronically underperforming schools," Hinckley said. "That's our job. Our first job here is to make sure children can read, write and do math on grade level, and we're not being successful at that in all our schools."

Hinckley has a track record of turning schools around. In her role at Warren Township, her team improved test scores and resolved funding issues.

Money is a bigger issue at IPS, where Hinckley is facing a $40 million shortfall and a growing list of charter schools that continue to draw students and dollars away from the district.

 

"Our responsibility, our answer to charter schools -- high level of achievement in our all school so parents don't have to feel they have to look for an alternative," Hinckley said.

Hinckley plans to present a scaled-back version of the previously proposed preschool program to the IPS board next week. She will recommend nine sites and no transportation.

Hinckley said the bussing itself would cost $1 million, but she wants to use that money to fund 15 teaching positions instead.

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