Teacher Pay, Student Experience Among Focus for IPS Leaders

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The incoming interim superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools says there is a direct correlation between teacher pay and the success of the district. Aleesia Johnson, who will next month become the first African American superintendent of the state's largest school district, says it's important to demonstrate to teachers the pathway they have. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Johnson and IPS Board of School Commissioners President Michael O'Connor talked about the teacher pay issue and the recently-completed collective bargaining agreement with teachers.

"It was very important for us to fulfill the commitment we made to say we want to pay our teachers more," said O'Connor. "So we're able to give substantial pay increases to teachers but also allows us to do some things to both get better pay for early teachers but also a term of service, sort of higher-end pay for longer years of service where we were losing a lot of teachers. So it's both an increase in pay but also a pay scale that ends on a much higher level than it had previously."

Johnson said one of the main areas of focus for IPS in 2019 will be a continued concentration on the high school experience for students, as well as the post-secondary experience. She says the district's recently-launched Future Centers, which aim to connect the K-12 experience to what students will do after they graduate. 

The IPS board earlier this month unanimously approved Johnson to fill the role of interim superintendent following the announcement that Superintendent Lewis Ferebee would be leaving to become chancellor of D.C. Public Schools. 

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