South Bend school board votes on new board member
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Monday, the South Bend school board voted to add Stephanie Ball to the board and fill a vacancy.
The seat became vacant once Dawn Jones accepted the position of City Clerk for the City of South Bend. Ball previously ran for the seat and lost, but Monday she beat out her opponent Jasmine Brown in a 4-2 vote.
“Sometimes timing is what it is and today was my time,” said Ball.
Board President John Anella said he voted for her mainly because of her work experience. According to LinkedIn information, Ball’s most recent job was as the Director of Homeownership for the South Bend Heritage Foundation.
“She has a certain level of board experience and work experience that fits our needs at this time,” said Ball.
Ball admitted that she has big shoes to fill coming into Jones’ seat.
“We have a tremendous amount of work that lies ahead of us,” she said.
Ball said her focus will be on closing the achievement gap for students and keeping the district financially healthy.
The corporation could see cuts soon. The state is putting caps on property taxes in 2020 and the corporation expects to lose close to $10 million.
“We don’t want to put those kinds of cuts on our kids, on our teachers, on our families, on our community,” said Anella.
The school district is the second-largest employer in the area, with nearly 17,000 students and 3,000 employees, according to Anella.
The board is working on a referendum to save the district money. Now, with an empty seat filled, most of the Board said they’re confident moving ahead.
“This is a serious volunteer job really but know we’ll find ways to enjoy the good with the bad it’s a lot of work that’s ahead of us but I’m looking forward to it,” said Ball.
Corporation officials will release the budget for the district on September 27. The board plans to vote on the final budget on October 21.
On October 7, the corporation will host a public hearing to gain feedback on the proposed budget.