INDIANAPOLIS – Today, leaders from the Indy Chamber and Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) gathered to release the results of their IPS Operational Analysis, an in-depth review of IPS operations in areas of finance, human resources, information technology, facilities, and transportation.
The partnership between IPS and the Indy Chamber began in the summer of 2013 when IPS leadership approached the Indy Chamber about conducting this analysis. The goal was to engage an outside source to produce a set of tangible recommendations regarding operational excellence and opportunities for significant savings within IPS. As a result, volunteer business leaders, IPS executive staff and Board members worked to analyze and make strategic recommendations on how the school district can best address its projected $30M budget deficit.
“The link between the strength of our schools and the strength of our economy is undeniable,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “When talent is looking to move here or companies are weighing options for relocation, a strong school infrastructure ranks high on the list of necessities. This, combined with our mission to improve the quality of life throughout the Indy region, made this the ideal project for the Indy Chamber to lead.”
The final report is the result of an eight-month process to find thoughtful, innovative ways to reduce the projected IPS deficit, while putting the best interests of students first. The IPS Operational Analysis process set aside matters of academic performance, curriculum and education policy and reform to review and make long and short term recommendations specifically on operational issues in an effort to significantly increase efficiencies.
“IPS is in a unique position at this moment to assess our challenges and improve our ability to operate more effectively and efficiently,” said IPS Superintendent, Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “This report gives us a real opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on how to best reach these goals from business professionals who have a history of successfully running an enterprise, managing a budget and planning for the future. This effort was outlined in my 100-day entry plan and will be an integral part of our strategic planning process.”
The IPS Operational Analysis was co-chaired by David Lewis, Eli Lilly and Company, and Joe Slash, Indianapolis Urban League and included a team of some 60 business leaders, IPS Board members, IPS executive staff and Indy Chamber staff.
“Our team of highly skilled, dedicated business volunteers, along with IPS executive staff and Board members, worked strenuously to evaluate every aspect of IPS operations to formulate strategic and sustainable recommendations that, if carried out, will put the enterprise on stronger financial footing,” said Huber. “I am thankful for our volunteers and project co-chairs and look forward to finding new ways to continue this partnership to build a better IPS and a better Indianapolis.”
Highlights of the IPS Operational Analysis recommendations include:
• Explore options for creating multi-use facilities throughout IPS and Indianapolis
• Conduct energy assessments of district buildings
• Utilize IndyGo buses for magnet students needing extracurricular transportation
• Conduct full assessment of employee views and knowledge to reveal areas for improvement within IPS
• Review benefits packages to remain competitive and find efficiencies
• Include the IPS financial management team in all spending decisions
For the full IPS Operational Analysis, click here.
About the Indy Chamber
The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 3,000 businesses representing 230,000 employees in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. In 2012, the Indy Chamber merged with Indy Partnership, Develop Indy, and Business Ownership Initiative. For more information about the Indy Chamber, visit IndyChamber.com.