Indianapolis Public Schools

Schools began using Opportunity Culture® models in:


Learn more about the Opportunity Culture® initiative in Indianapolis by visiting the district website.


In August 2015, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) became the first district in the country to include Opportunity Culture® roles in its teacher contract, ratified by 93 percent of the Indianapolis Education Association members and approved in a 6–0 vote of the IPS Board of School Commissioners. The contract offered pay supplements of up to $18,300 for teachers leading teams—35 percent of the district’s average salary. That came on top of a major base pay raise—the first in five years—for teachers across the board. Those pay decisions meant that in 2016–17, for example, a 16-year teacher could earn $77,700 by taking on the highest-paid Opportunity Culture® role, which involves leading a team of four to six teachers.

The contract includes multiple Opportunity Culture® roles, with the highest pay for multi-classroom leaders, who continue to teach while leading a team.

Six IPS schools (four elementary and two secondary schools) began implementing Opportunity Culture® in 2016–17, with more joining the initiative in the following years.

In 2017, IPS received an honorable mention on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s list of Great Districts for Great Teachers. “Indianapolis Public Schools is to be commended for creating innovative teacher leadership roles and staffing structures that increase the impact of highly effective teachers,” NCTQ said. “Through the district’s Opportunity Culture® initiative, teachers can take on leadership roles that allow them to work with other teachers while maintaining a classroom presence. These teacher leaders can earn up to $18,300 more than their base salary.”

IPS Demographics

In 2018, the district had 68 schools serving 26,410 students. Of those students 44 percent were black, 29 percent were Hispanic, 21 percent were white, and 65 percent were eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Learn More:


How Opportunity Culture® Helps Schools Retain Teachers

Because of Multi-Classroom Leadership, Principal Jeremy Baugh says, his school has been able to dramatically reduce high teacher turnover rates.

How Opportunity Culture® Lives Up to Its Five Principles

Opportunity Culture® has done what it says, benefitting students and teachers, Principal Jeremy Baugh says.

Providing Greater Teacher Support Through an Opportunity Culture®

Through greater teacher support, student learning grows in an Opportunity Culture®, Principal Arthur Hinton says.

Multi-Classroom Leaders Support Teachers and Students

Through Multi-Classroom Leadership, Melissa Wirth can support both teacher and student growth.

Bridging the Gaps Between Teachers and Administrators

MCL Brandon Warren sees his role as advocating for his teaching team with administrators.