South Bend Common Council adopts resolution asking city high schools to stay open

NOW: South Bend Common Council adopts resolution asking city high schools to stay open

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- South Bend families still have the opportunity to ask questions about the future of South Bend schools and the Facilities Master Plan still in the works.

Different scenarios on the table to consolidate the district offer likely school closures to save taxpayer money.

Parents and community members are encouraged to attend virtual meetings to discuss the options for the district. They can sign up for a spot in one of these meetings at the end of the community survey, available here.

However, Monday night, South Bend Common Council weighed in on what they think should happen to the Facilities Master Plan.

A resolution asking for city high schools to stay open was adopted in an 8-1 vote, with council member Eli Wax serving as the sole opposing vote.

"We are all concerned about schools closing," said Council President Sharon McBride. "Public education is very important. We are concerned about any school or any child being left behind. And the ramifications of closing the school could be that more students would be displaced, especially in the Black and brown communities."

The council can't actually do anything to change what's happening in South Bend schools, because it does not have oversight over the community school corporation, so the bill doesn't enact any changes.

Council members say this is more or less a formal opinion on the district's master plan and a step toward a partnership between city government and the city school district.

It's mostly politically-driven, as constituents have approached council members because they're upset about the possibility of restructuring the district and potentially shutting down high schools.

The resolution claims the community still needs plenty of questions answered, and the consulting firm hired by the district needs to hold off on making any decisions before more community input can be digested.

Clay High School is not named in the resolution but it requests the remaining three South Bend High Schools, Washington, Riley, and Adams, remain open.

Most of the scenarios involve closing at least one high school.

"I'm elated that it looks like we may get some traction going as it relates to how our public-school corporation performs in our city," said Councilmember Henry Davis Jr. "The City of South Bend cannot grow, it will not grow, we can't recruit employers here and we're diminishing our tax base if the public-school corporation continues to fold the way it is folding."

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