Gary’s Disappearing Public Schools

Michael Puente:

The school system is struggling make payroll each month. It delayed checks to 700 employees, mostly teachers, in November. March is also likely to be a problem, school district staff said last week at a Gary School Board meeting.

It wasn’t always this way

Gary’s public school system was once one of the largest in Indiana and a model nationwide.

It educated a Nobel prize winning economist, an Oscar-winning actor, successful business leaders, entertainers and athletes.

“The Gary Community School Corporation is experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis unlike any school corporation has experienced in the state of Indiana,” Indiana State Sen. Eddie Melton told an education committee at the Indiana Statehouse this month. His district includes Gary.

“The district is struggling on a day-to-day basis to ensure payroll is met and that critical vendors, such as health insurance and bus services, are paid,” the Democrat said.

He and other Hoosier lawmakers are searching for solutions for Gary, including greater funding, forgiving outstanding state loans or appointing a fiscal monitor.