IPS board member: 'Exodus' of teachers

Nearly 200 teachers submit notice over summer

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indianapolis Public Schools Board plans to address the dozens upon dozens of teachers who have left this year.

The superintendent presented board members with the latest personnel report Tuesday, which showed close to 200 teachers and other certified personnel have submitted their notice over the summer.

It's not unusual for teachers to resign or retire in June and July -- ahead of a new school year -- but IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee admitted the district has been "overwhelmed" by the number of recent resignations.

The district's personnel report showed 59 teachers and other certified personnel resigned and nine retired in the last month.

A total of 70 teachers and employees with certifications submitted notice in June. Thirty-three teachers and other certified employees resigned in May and 23 retired.

That adds up to nearly 200 teachers in three months. To put the numbers into perspective, IPS employed more than 2,200 teachers during the 2012-2013 school year.

One board member said he's heard that surrounding districts are recruiting IPS teachers.

Rhondalyn Cornett, the president of the Indianapolis Education Association, said some are leaving for better pay and benefits.

"A lot of it is teachers are not feeling respected, they're feeling like people don't think they know what they're doing," Cornett said.

"I understand you've got to feed your family, and if someone makes a lucrative offer, you've got to take it. All I'm asking is you let us know, because with us, it's about children. I've got to make sure our children have teachers in the classroom," IPS board member Michael Brown said.

The board plans to address required notice. Ferebee said the district was also exploring licensing and hiring.

The board approved a partnership with The New Teacher Project to help with the recruitment and development of teachers.

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