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School board votes to close Hay and Tarkington schools

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:38 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend School Superintendent Todd Cummings says he’ll meet with members of a South Bend Common Council Committee to talk about the possible impact school closings might have on city neighborhoods.

On Monday night, the school board voted 4-3 to close Hay Elementary School and voted 5-2 to close Tarkington Elementary at the end of this academic year.

“Focus 2018 closed several schools. That was a traumatic detriment to a community and we can’t keep closing schools because of low enrollment,” said School Board member Jeanette McCullough.

Yet, it was argued that the status quo wasn’t a viable option if keeping buildings open came at the expense of directing more dollars toward improving student performance. “It’s hard to justify operating multiple buildings near 50 percent capacity when our students are in need of resources in the classroom,” said School Board President John Anella.

Superintendent Todd Cummings told the board that the closing would “ensure that we can keep teacher base salaries high,” and add academic coaches and counselors.

Hay school is only 49-percnent occupied.

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