More concerns voiced amid recommendation to keep all South Bend Schools open

NOW: More concerns voiced amid recommendation to keep all South Bend Schools open

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SOUTH BEND, Ind., --- At the South Bend School board meeting Wednesday night, consultants recommended the district keep all of its schools open, at least for another year. But the plan still sparked concern about the equitable distribution of resources, especially for students of color.

“It doesn’t even state how it’s going to increase nor does it address academic success of black students,” said Trina Robinson the President of South Bend’s NAACP Chapter.

Robinson was among dozens of community members who expressed concerns at the South Bend School Board meeting Wednesday night about the district’s master facilities plan.

“A lot of attention is placed on the academies in the other schools however we do know that the attention is placed towards the black students or those that are least served all students succeed and I think that’s where the focus needs to lie,” explained Robinson.

The firm brought in to help develop the district’s plan, Fanning and Howey -recommended the board of trustees do not close any schools next year, based on community surveys.

The board didn’t discuss whether closures may be needed after the school year.

“We tried to look for scenarios we kept the presence of programs and grade levels and like a middle school or high school in the right areas,” said the consulting firm.

Although many were glad the firm’s recommendation did not include closing any schools, community and school board members still echoed a stronger focus on equitable resources in their plan.

“You have to improve the students’ academic performance and to do that you have to bout resources where they need to be and we have not done that and so that to be is a better way to spend the money then this plan in,” said Jeanette McCullough, school board member at-large

“I’m looking for something more substantiating that we can finally reach equitable resources,” added Oletha Jones , another board member who represents district two.

The firm also recommended adding a districtwide technical center and a medical magnet program at Washington High School.

They also said it will continue to meet with community members to help reshape the plan for the fall.

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