Closure of Clay High School in South Bend now a political issue

(Tommie Lee/MNC)

The closure of Clay High School is now a political issue. South Bend Mayoral candidate Henry Davis says the city’s current leadership has little to nothing to try to help South Bend Schools.

However, Davis’s opponent in the May Primary, incumbent Mayor James Mueller issued a statement, saying that in 2021, the Common Council passed a joint resolution with the School Board to expand their partnership and work together and Henry Davis Jr. was the only Councilmember to vote against this resolution.

The school board decided to close Clay High School with a vote earlier this week. There were a number of attendees in the audience/community that expressed their dissatisfaction with the closure. Over the past two years South Bend has seen several education institutions close in efforts to right size the district.

Mayor James Mueller’s statement in full:

“Our state’s policies have undermined and underfunded urban public school systems across the state and have forced tough decisions on South Bend Schools. I appreciate the School Board’s efforts to make the best of a difficult situation, reestablishing neighborhood schools, expanding early childhood education, and creating more technical career training opportunities. I also thank the Common Council and the School Board for their unprecedented collaboration, as well as the open lines of communication with me and my administration. With South Bend’s population growing at the fastest rate in over 60 years, South Bend has turned the corner, and our future is bright.”

The Mayor’s office also provided the following background:

On September 27, 2021 the Common Council passed a joint resolution (Bill No. 21-47) with the School Board to expand their partnership and work together. Councilmember Henry Davis Jr. was the only Councilmember to vote against this resolution.

From 2010-2020, South Bend grew by 2.3% or 2,285 people, the fastest and largest increase since the 1950’s and the first time since the 1910’s that the City has grown faster than St. Joseph County. The most recent American Community Survey estimated that South Bend grew by another 1,070 people, already matching nearly half of the previous decade’s growth since the 2020 Census. From 2011-2021, South Bend’s median income has increased by 44%, compared to 41% nationally, 35% in the state of Indiana, and 33% for St. Joseph County as a whole.

South Bend is attracting record private investment and expansion of the tax base. From 2020-2022, roughly $660 million of total real property improvements (from building permit valuations) and personal property investments (committed for approved tax phase ins.) Over $500 million of additional investment is expected in 2023 based on known projects planning construction and requests for personal property tax phase ins.

According to state law, the City of South Bend and South Bend Community School Corporation are entirely different entities. Clay High School is the only high school in South Bend Schools located outside of city limits. Adams, Riley, and Washington are all within city limits.

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Charles U Farley April 20, 2023 at 8:00 am

Mueller and Davis are still blaming the SBCSC’s woes on funding, and not on the woke policies and rampant corruption in the SBCSC itself.

They have exactly ZERO hope of fixing the problem if they can’t even figure out what the problem is…

Adam April 20, 2023 at 9:01 am

The non-government schools are doing a much better job at educating students. Enrollment is down for a reason in the South Bend Community School Corporation.


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