Indianapolis Urban League

Indianapolis Urban League endorses IPS education referenda

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Indianapolis Urban League endorses IPS education referenda:

IUL encourages ‘yes’ vote for compromise that invests in teacher pay, school safety and building projects, limits tax impact on homeowners

(November 5, 2018 – INDIANAPOLIS, Ind) As voters prepare to head to the polls Tuesday, the Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) issued a statement today endorsing the $272 million capital and operating referenda offered by the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to upgrade school safety, increase teacher and principal salaries and avoid classroom cutbacks.

IUL strengthened its earlier support of the IPS operating referendum, reflecting the district’s efforts to refocus resources on teachers and educational priorities and minimize the tax impact on homeowners in urban neighborhoods with its final $220 million compromise plan.

IUL advocates for equality and empowerment for African-Americans, other minority residents and disadvantaged individuals of Indianapolis, and has emphasized the connection between quality education and training, quality employment opportunities and upward mobility.  Indianapolis Urban League President Tony Mason explained the group’s endorsement:

“IPS is Indiana’s largest school system and educates more African-American and Hispanic students than any other district,” Mason said.  “IPS is increasing its graduation rate and offering diverse learning options to match diverse student needs.  Superintendent Ferebee and the Board of Commissioners have put forward a realistic approach that deserves our support.

“IPS serves many of the most challenged areas of our community, where education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty.  But we recognize that many families in the district struggle to keep up with basic household expenses.  That’s why we urged the school board to rethink its original plan and use all new operating revenues for teacher paychecks and academic programs.

“IPS worked closely with local business and civic leaders to find efficiencies, fix its budget deficit and focus on compensation.  They arrived at a compromise that protects taxpayers and academic priorities.

“The $220 million proposal does not address all of the fiscal issues that IPS is facing, but it does help the district compete better with the townships for the best educators – we need strong principals to lead high-performing schools, and great teachers to inspire and educate our children.  And the cost to the average homeowner is less than $5 a month, with every dollar benefiting our students.

“We aspire to be a city where every child has a realistic chance to follow their dreams and do better than their parents,” Mason finished.  “Education equals opportunity; investing in IPS is extending opportunities across Indianapolis.  We believe the district has been focused on student success and open to community input, and has earned a ‘Yes’ vote for the referenda on Election Day.”

A final public meeting on the IPS referenda will be held Monday (11/5) evening from 6:00-7:00PM at New Wineskin Ministries, 4501 West 38th Street, Indianapolis.

Contact:  Tony Mason, President/CEO – Indianapolis Urban League,,  317-693-7603

The Indianapolis Urban League (IUL) was founded in the fall of 1965 as a non-profit, non-partisan, interracial community-based social service/civil rights organization. The mission of the IUL is to assist African Americans, other minorities, and disadvantaged individuals to achieve social and economic equality.  It is one of over 90 local and regional affiliates of the National Urban League.