Indianapolis: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Indiana's public school standards were retooled in 2000 after an education group criticized the state for not challenging its youth. The standards are applied in Indianapolis by the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) system, the largest district in the state. A nonpartisan, seven-member school board appoints a superintendent. IPS offers vocational education and alternative school programs; magnet/option programs include athletic careers, business and finance, communications arts, performing and visual arts, foreign language, and 12 others.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Indianapolis public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.

Total enrollment: 39,115

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 49

junior high schools: 13

senior high schools: 5

other: 12 (including 8 mixed-grade schools and 4 alternative schools)

Student/teacher ratio: K-5, 20:1; 6-8, 22:1, 9-12, 23:1

Teacher salaries

average: $49,740

Funding per pupil: $11,913 (2003-2004)

More than 120 other schools, including preschools, alternative centers, religious schools, academies, Montessori-based schools, academies, and others operate within Indianapolis.

Public Schools Information: Indianapolis Public Schools, 120 East Walnut Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204; telephone (317)226-4000

Colleges and Universities

Several public and private institutions of higher learning are located in Indianapolis. Affiliated with the two major state universities is Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; more than 29,000 students are enrolled in associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctorate programs. Of the 18 programs and 185 majors offered, areas of specialization include art, engineering technologies, dentistry, law, medical technology, nursing, occupational therapy, and social work. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis, both private institutions, award undergraduate and graduate degrees in such fields as music, pharmacy, nursing, education, and physical therapy.

Among the colleges and technical schools in the Indianapolis metropolitan region are Marian College, offering a liberal arts curriculum, and Indiana Vocational Technical College (Ivy Tech), one of a network of 23 state training and education centers.

Libraries and Research Centers

In addition to its main branch downtown, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library operates 22 branches throughout the city. The library, with holdings of more than 1.9 million volumes, has an annual circulation of more than seven million items and maintains special collections of first editions of Indiana authors, early textbooks, and the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley, and is a U.S. document depository. In 2005 the central library existed in an interim home while undergoing expansion and renovation to the original library to bring it to 293,000 square feet of total space. The new central library, once completed in 2006, will include a 350-seat auditorium, a four-story glass atrium, a 400-space underground parking facility, and an Indianapolis Special Collections Room, among other features.

The Indiana State Library, also located downtown, houses more than 2 million printed items plus millions of manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, and federal and state documents. Special collections include the Indiana Academy of Science Library; an Indiana Collection; a large assortment of books on tape, Braille and large print books;. and a Manuscript Section housing almost three million items including war letters and eighteenth century fur traders' papers. The Indiana Historical Society Library specializes in the Civil War, early North American travel accounts, and the history of Indiana and the Northwest Territory.

The University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) houses more than 650,000 volumes and more than 4,000 periodical subscriptions; other libraries within the IUPUI system include the Herron School of Art Library, the Ruth Lilly Medical Library, the School of Dentistry Library, and the Ruth Lilly Law Library. Holdings in all the IUPUI libraries combined total more than 2.5 million items. Butler University's holdings include a music and fine arts collection.

Indianapolis is home to a variety of special libraries and research centers, many of them related to the universities. Among them is the Hudson Institute, the internationally renowned policy research organization. State agencies, such as the Indiana Department of Commerce, the Indiana Department of Education, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management also operate libraries. Other specialized libraries are affiliated with law firms, hospitals, newspapers, publishing houses, museums, and churches and synagogues. Of unique interest are the Indianapolis Zoo Library and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis Library. Research is conducted at centers administered by or affiliated with Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, researching topics such as aging, the environment, biology, medicine, law, economics, and many others. Butler University research programs are conducted on a wide variety of topics.

Public Library Information: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, PO Box 211, Indianapolis, IN 46206; telephone (317)269-1700