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South Bend schools hoping to see end to possible cuts with spring referendum

NOW: South Bend schools hoping to see end to possible cuts with spring referendum

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Monday, school board members for the South Bend Community School Corporation voted unanimously to adopt a nearly $40 million budget for 2020. 

The district expects to lose money from decreased enrollment. Currently, 15,900 students are enrolled in SBCSC. 

According to the budget, the district expects to see enrollment decrease to 15,700 in February 2020 and later to 15,400 in September 2020. 

SBCSC will also lose more than $12 million because of state law that caps property taxes. 

There was talk of possibly closing a school in the district to offset the dramatic loss, which is a cause of concern for parents. 

“When you close a school you also make bigger class sizes,” said one parent at the meeting on Monday. “When you do close you know and that’s an issue in itself.”

Corporation Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings called the talk of closings “premature.”

“Any cuts we make are going to be as far away from students and teachers and principals as possible but all of our options are on the table,” said Dr. Cummings. “We’re looking at every process we have we’re looking at the properties we own but school closings are really premature at the moment.”

Dr. Cummings said the district expected these losses, by cutting nearly $8 million out of last years budget and outsourcing services, like food and nutrition. But there is still a $5 million gap, which could lead to increased class sizes and school closings, including a high school. 

Dr. Cummings said he is focused on getting South Bend residents to pass a crucial referendum next spring. 

“We’re hoping to be able to show the community we’re transparent in our resources that we’re getting every dime out of our dollars that we can so the community can trust us to vote yes for a referendum in May,” said Dr. Cummings. 

For more information budgetnotices.in.gov. 

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