“I’ve paid my taxes to IPS for many years and worked for the Peterson administration for 7 years before becoming the County Clerk in 2007. I continue to care very deeply that the largest school system in our state is strong, and serves the needs of everyone in the district,” says White.
One of the things White has enjoyed most about her time as a board member has been the chance to learn more about the individual schools. As County Clerk, White has been in a number of high schools to teach her yVote civic engagement curriculum. Because the IPSEF board holds its meetings in different schools, she’s had the opportunity to experience an even larger number of schools first-hand.
“As an elected official, obviously I understand what public education means to the city . . . .. There’s no question that the public school system affects how we grow as a city. The kinds of schools we have determine whether people locate into the city,” she says.
White says that her position gives her a unique perspective on the role of education in shaping students’ futures.
“I work in the City-County Building, so I see many young people who drop out of school and get caught up in a cycle of violence and unemployment and waste their potential. Education is the great equalizer, the key to bettering oneself and making sure children have the advantages to succeed in life,” she says.
Through the work of the IPS Education Foundation, Indianapolis students have the resources to be more successful in school and raise the graduation rates. The IPSEF’s work also helps enable students for success after graduation. As White says, a strong school system is the key to a stronger city.
“The challenges are not just challenges for people who attend or teach in IPS,” White says. “When you contribute to the IPSEF, the money impacts students directly and there’s a real satisfaction in knowing that’s true.”
Beth White has a distinguished career of public service at the state and local level, currently serving a second term as Clerk of Marion County. She also is an adjunct professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. White previously served on the board of The Julian Center and the Ransburg YMCA and is an Elder and choir member at Central Christian Church. She is a graduate of Indiana University and the Georgetown University Law Center.