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South Bend students transfer out of the district by the thousands

State reports South Bend students transfer out of the district by the thousands. //WSBT 22 Photo.

The Indiana Department of Education just released figures for all Hoosier school systems showing how many kids transfer out and transfer in.

It was the state's first ever transfer report.

The numbers show that for the 2017-2018 school year, more than 6,000 students who live in South Bend chose to go to school somewhere else.

For the parents who do send their children to South Bend schools, it's news that concerns them.

Dominique Dixon has two sons in the South Bend system. She says it's a decision that runs in the family.

"I'm a student of South Bend born and raised. It did well for me, so I thought that I should send my kids to South Bend schools as well," said Dixon.

Thousands of other parents have decided something else.

The state reports that 6,602 students who live in South Bend go to school somewhere else. When those kids leave the school corporation, they take their state tax dollars with them.

In comparison, only 67 students who don't live in South Bend chose to transfer in.

That's a net loss of 28% of the South Bend student population.

For Mishawaka schools, there was a 5% net loss.

For PHM, there was a 10% net gain.

The numbers are a surprise for Dixon.

"I'm shocked. I didn't know. I had no idea. So that's news to me. I've had a great experience with South Bend Schools," said Dixon.

Parent Devin Brubaker says he isn't surprised.

"I think there's a lack of organization within the School Corps themselves," said Brubaker. "I mean who would want to come to a school corporation where your school bus might be two hours late and you're waiting out in the snow?"

The school says its new Focus 2018 plan that re-purposes and reorganizes the district is supposed to help with enrollment trends, but not everyone is convinced.

"I just think it's a consolidation plan just because they don't have the students because so many students are leaving," said Brubaker. "It costs money to support all these buildings and maintain them. I don't see it as a plan to improve anything. I just see it as a consolidation."

WSBT 22 reached out to the South Bend Community School Corporation for comment on these student transfer numbers.

A spokesperson said because it is a holiday weekend, nobody would be available for comment until Tuesday.

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