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IPS revises estimate: enrollment to hold steady

Ten Indianapolis Public Schools teachers were named finalists for district teacher of the year.
Students listen as their teacher gives a small group lesson at Indianapolis Public School's Center for Inquiry at School 27.
Alan Petersime

The state’s largest school district won’t be losing students after all.

Just a week after telling school board members that they expected to see a drop in student enrollment next year, Indianapolis Public Schools officials now say they expect enrollment to hold steady.

Chalkbeat reported last week that competition from private, charter and township schools have made it more difficult for IPS to keep classrooms full, leading to enrollment projections that predicted nearly 1,000 fewer students next year and a corresponding loss in state funds.

Those projections, however, did not include all the students who will be enrolled in IPS, administrators say.

Their new estimates include students in alternative education programs and students who’ve accepted offers to attend magnet schools, according Chief Financial Manager Weston Young. The district also increased the enrollment estimate at some innovation network schools, which are considered part of IPS but are managed by outside non-profits or charter networks.

In all, the district revised enrollment projections to add 914 students. It now estimates that 29,323 students will enroll in district and innovation network schools next year, just 54 fewer students than this year.

Board president Mary Ann Sullivan told the administration to update the board promptly if the estimate changes again so the district can plan well.

“It’s reassuring to see that we really expect we’re going to have a fairly stable enrollment,” Sullivan said. “That’s good news for us as a district.”

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