The South Bend Common Council’s Community Relations Committee held the first of what is expected to be several community meetings last night, in order to address growing problems within the city’s public schools.
No one at the meeting was denying that South Bend Schools has problems. With low test scores, disparities in discipline and achievement between white students and those of color, administration issues and others; there was plenty to talk about.
Regina Williams-Preston is on the council. “It’s not just about holding the schools accountable but it’s about holding the city accountable because we have an investment in schools and if we’re giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the schools how are we following up and where’s our accountability piece?”
Williams-Preston says it’s also about bringing in the community and getting them involved in solving the schools’ problems. She says other social issues impact how students learn while they’re in school, and what they do when they’re finished.
She says by addressing things like housing, employment, and other poverty-related issues--the schools and students will benefit, which cycles back to benefit the community.