Listen Live

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Public Schools has announced they’re dealing with a $15 million budget shortfall for this school year and a projected $18 million shortfall for the next school year.

According to Superintendent Alessia Johnson, it’s the result of enrollment loss, which may be because students opted for homeschooling due to the pandemic. Johnson says they’re looking at possibly cutting back on non-personnel resources, such as classroom expenses, to help address this issue.

“So if you think about our budget for things like supplies or professional development, or those kinds of areas,” said Johnson.

It’s something Nikki Reed, a parent who has a first-grader at IPS, says is concerning.

“In a district that does so much with so little, it’s very discouraging for me to hear that there is a budget shortfall,” said Reed. “I hate to think about our schools being without teachers or instructional coaches or instructional assistance.”

Student learning is also a concern to Johnson during the pandemic. She says national trends show student growth in math did not grow as much compared to 2019, and reading is about the same. The school district says they are looking at addressing learning needs by having more tutoring, summer school and Saturday academics. They’re also looking at investing in staff technology needs.

Johnson says she is hopeful that students will return to in-person learning in the fall, but masks might be required. Reed tells News 8 she is looking forward to normalcy.

“My hope is that we can inch back toward normalcy, not only for our students, of course, for our teachers and administration who are trying to do the best they can,” said Reed.

Indiana State Department of Health reported Tuesday that 12,025 have died from COVID-19.