Mishawaka Schools thinking of merger - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Mishawaka Schools thinking of merger

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School City of Mishawaka is looking for a way to get out of debt and another school district could end up helping to foot the bill.

The district was looking to raise $28 million dollars with a voter referendum in November. After the referendum failed, the district was left with a number of immediate school maintenance problems, including furnace problems at Hums Elementary and roof problems at John Young Middle School.  

To possibly fix these pressing maintenance issues, Mishawaka school board and superintendent are considering a look at merging with Penn-Harris-Madison or South Bend schools.

FOX28 tried to talk to school board members and the superintendent on Monday, but they will not talk until they meet and discuss Thursday.

We did catch up with some Mishawaka parents for their reaction. India Hoskins has kids at Emmons and Mishawaka High School. She says she recently moved to Mishawaka to get her children out of the South Bend school system. "I really don't think they should," said Hoskins of the merger. "To be honest, South Bend schools are doing too much, and Mishawaka schools I feel are on the right level."

FOX28 also met with some students from Mishawaka High School. Both Alyssa Hubbard and Bethany Taylor transferred from South Bend high schools.

"It's a way better environment out here, Hubbard says of Mishawaka. "And I feel if they combine the schools, everything will be completely different."

Taylor worries that with the Mishawaka school size much smaller than South Bend, Mishawaka could get overlooked if the schools should merge. "The South Bend School corporation might over influence the Mishawaka school corporation. It's just not a good idea," she says.

Penn-Harris-Madison released a statement to FOX28 on the merger proposal via Director of Communications Teresa Carroll:
"Penn-Harris-Madison's administration would not recommend a move toward consolidation with School City of Mishawaka or any district at this time because we do not feel that it is in the best interest of our students and families."

FOX28 also spoke to Mishawaka Mayor David Wood. In a statement, he said:
"After the referendum failing, I understand the position of the district in attempts to fix the problem. The decision needs to make sense to both districts, South Bend and Mishawaka. People take great pride in Mishawaka schools, so I understand why parents are having a voice."

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