South Bend Common Council weighs in on changes coming to SBCSC; residents asked to complete online survey

NOW: South Bend Common Council weighs in on changes coming to SBCSC; residents asked to complete online survey

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- The South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC) is looking to consolidate its schools, and it needs the public's input. A survey, available here, lets the community weigh in on the different scenarios presented, which would all save the city money.

The South Bend Common Council could make an official stance on what's being called the SBCSC Facilities Master Plan.

Council President Sharon McBride has a resolution on the Feb. 13 agenda, asking SBCSC to hold off on making a final decision and answer the community's questions before moving forward.

A plan is in motion to consolidate South Bend schools, but the options on the table are still being discussed.

It's causing a stir in the community and prompted local lawmakers to weigh in.

"We understand the ill effects when schools are closed and what happens to the tax base as it relates to the city itself. Those two are married, and they work hand-in-hand. And let's be honest, we're talking about the same population of people," said 2nd District Councilmember Henry Davis Jr.

The resolution is written by Council President Sharon McBride.

It claims the scenarios offered to the community are changing and leaving people confused.

McBride also writes that it leaves too many questions unanswered, such as: what will happen to school teachers and staff, dual language programs, magnet programs, and surrounding neighborhoods when these changes are finally enacted?

The resolution calls for all high schools to remain open, and asks SBCSC to hold off on the final decision of the Facilities Master Plan until public concerns are better addressed.

The resolution would serve as the official stance of the council, if passed, but it would not enact any changes, since the council has no oversight over SBCSC.

"I wanted to make sure that I had an opportunity to speak on behalf of some of our constituents about their concerns and hoping that we can keep the south bend schools all open," McBride said. "I just want to make sure that we are highlighting and supporting our districts and making sure that we are enhancing all of the great things that we have going on in the school corporation."

The resolution is on the agenda for the Common Council's Residential Neighborhoods Committee meeting on Feb. 13.

In the meantime, South Bend schools are looking for input on the proposed scenarios in their Facilities Master Plan.


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