Aleesia Johnson

Aleesia Johnson, interim superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools.

The holidays are over, but at Indianapolis Public Schools, there is still much we are grateful for. 

One expression of our gratitude has come in the form of much-needed compensation increases for members of our IPS team. Just as we want the best conditions for student success and to accommodate them as much as possible, the same is true for the district’s personnel. The Board of School Commissioners and district leadership began addressing compensation improvements last December with raises for eligible teachers. I am incredibly proud that we continued our efforts in January to include increases for virtually all employees within the district.

The raises range from 3 to 22 percent with the funds derived from our existing cash reserves (as we will not have access to funding from the referenda until June).

Following are key details to the raises:

* Employees who are part of the AFSCME contract will receive a 3 percent raise except food center drivers and food center workers who will receive 4 percent and 22 percent increases respectively. Employees in the 3 percent range who have worked for IPS for 10 or more years will receive a $500 one-time bonus. 

* Non-bargained staff members will receive a 3 percent increase. Employees in this group who worked a decade or more will also receive a one-time $500 bonus. In addition, IPS police officers will be allotted a 10 percent increase, elementary and middle school food service satellite managers and assistants will receive 11.5 percent raises, and high school food service workers and managers will receive a 4 percent raise. 

Being able to accomplish widespread compensation increases was not an easy feat. I am grateful to our commissioners and the leadership team for their tireless efforts to bring this to fruition. I am also grateful to every member of the district’s team. It takes each one of us to make good on our commitment of being a school system that provides an excellent education to each of our students. As the largest school district in our city and state, the success of IPS is critical to the success of our larger community, and I appreciate all those who choose and commit to working and serving in our district.

The raises aren’t the only recent highpoints in our district … there is more. I am very excited that we will be able to enhance our service to students and families with the recent formation of the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team. The FACE Team is dedicated to cultivating and maintaining healthy working relationships with parents, families and community stakeholders so that we can both share news in and around the district more effectively as well as hear from those same stakeholders about what is important to them.  We’ve listened and taken to heart the feedback we’ve heard around expanding our engagement efforts and this is just one way that we intend to do so.

There is much to be thankful for at IPS, and I am truly excited about the direction our district is headed. We are who we are because of our students, our team of faculty, staff and board members and because of you — our community. Thank you for all you do to make IPS a wonderful place to learn, work and lead.

Aleesia Johnson is interim superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools. She is the first African-American woman to serve in such capacity. 

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