Local governments in Indiana don’t have much authority over their local schools. Property taxes, the funding formulas, and the standards schools operate by are governed by the State Legislature.
As a Councilor, there’s not much room to do much with any school system within Marion County. District 12 includes both IPS and Warren Township School Districts.
Like many government-provided social services, government-run after-school activities and services are well-intentioned and well-meaning, but often poorly run and are more successful when done by private, specialized organizations.
Currently, the City of Indianapolis doesn’t allocate much money to after-school programs. That’s unlikely to change due to budget constraints. The City does, however, provide funding for summer jobs for teens seeking their first job – often through Parks and Recreation – and that program should continue.
Nonprofit organizations that are doing the best job of engaging youth, giving them applicable skills for life and careers, and providing academic mentorship should be promoted and encouraged.
Learning and training adults
Adults are responsible for their own life-long learning. Government can, however, enable conditions for people to learn and skill-up.
For those motivated and willing, the Indianapolis Public Library is a wonderful resource we should all learn to lean on more.
Apprentice programs for young adults should be made available through city departments where existing skilled managers and staff can help people grow. Particularly for those in their 30s and 40s who find themselves trapped between age groups where career, education, and life converge to be a perfect storm of lack of time, high expenses, and lower average earnings.