MGT Successfully Leads Gary Community School Corporation out of Distressed Status


GARY, IN, June 17, 2024 — It was a historic day in the Gary Community School Corporation as officials from the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) voted to officially return the district to local oversight. Community stakeholders gathered at the Gary Area Career Center in Gary to witness the ruling. The agenda also included a comprehensive recap from MGT, the firm that developed the strategy, staffed the leadership, and successfully guided the district out of state takeover, which began in 2017.

Eric Parish, Executive Vice-President for MGT, served as the project lead since the beginning of the state takeover.

“Nearly seven years ago, Gary students, families, staff, the greater community, the State of Indiana and MGT were brought together in an uncertain and chaotic situation but a situation with common, shared goals – to build a sustainable district, exit distressed unit stats and transition to a new governance structure,” said Parish. “From MGT’s first day on August 1, 2017, to today, we never wavered from those common, shared goals.”

Parish went on to share specific benchmarks attained by MGT in partnership with the district and its stakeholders:

  1. Eliminated the $22 million annual operating deficit
  2. Invested close to $50 million in its current buildings and sold or demolished most of its abandoned buildings.
  3. Experienced an increase in assessment scores for student performance and adopted new career pathways
  4. Stabilized enrollment, which was previously on a consistent annual decline
  5. Received overwhelming support from Gary residents by passing an operating referendum after two previously failed elections
  6. Initiated the first pay raise for teachers in ten years, while investing in teachers through multiple stipends and compensation increases

During his remarks, Parish also acknowledged how some in the community have shown a spirit of reluctance to MGT’s presence in the community, resistance to change, and the need to make difficult decisions.

“This milestone achievement has required hard decisions, and hard decisions are not popular,” said Parish. “In our role as Manager, MGT was not here to be popular. We were here to do the work in making the difficult decisions.”

In the past few months, MGT has been instrumental in developing a regulated meeting process for the newly appointed School Board of Trustees who in turn led the search process to secure the district’s new Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Stokes.

“Nearly seven years ago, the Gary Community School Corporation was not in a position to serve its students, families, or staff members. It is a different story today,” said Parish.


About MGT

MGT is a leading provider of technology management and advisory solutions for public agencies, philanthropic organizations, and Fortune 500 companies across the U.S. and abroad. Since 1974, MGT has expanded its technology and education solutions portfolio with the addition of Davis Demographics, EH&A, Kitamba, Ed Direction, Cira Infotech, Layer 3 Communications, Step By Step Learning, GovHR, and AMS.NET. Leveraging a half-century track record and reputation, MGT’s industry experts provide highly specialized solutions addressing mission-critical client priorities that improve outcomes and help organizations and communities thrive.

Media Contact:
Tiffanie Reynolds

Publish Date

Posted on June 21, 2024