Monday night the collective geniuses, also known as the South Bend School Board, got together and based on finances decided to vote 4-3 against beginning a new High Tech School in the corporation. The proposed site was the Studebaker building (which I was rooting for if no other reason than exposure from the city to the neighborhood and the dilapidated and abandoned homes RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET). The decision was based on money. And, it may have been the right decision given the lack of funds. What is interesting is in the audience was Chris Murphy, the chairman and CEO of 1st Source Bank who was going to begin the project with $200,000 and a pledge to network with others to raise another $2 million to see the New High Tech School take off. After witnessing the inept leadership of the school board, he walked away thinking even if he had $2 million he wouldn’t entrust it to this group.
Do you think electing our school board members is a good idea?
Here is the WNDU report from their website:
Chris Murphy, chairman and CEO of 1st Source Bank, came to Monday’s board meeting ready to give more than $200,000 and help raise $2 million for New Tech High. But the school board voted against the project.
“I had hoped that they would approve New Tech High,” said Murphy, who didn’t announce his reason for attending Monday’s board meeting.
Initially, he said, he planned to help out if the vote went in favor of the New Tech high school. Murphy says the money he planned to donate, on behalf of 1st Source bank and another foundation, would have enabled the project to get through its first phase and first year.
“There was general agreement among the community leadership that we needed something like this very badly,” he said.
But after watching board members go back and forth on the issue, Murphy says he was unimpressed with their general level of understanding and conduct.
“After watching the school board the other night I wouldn’t want any part of it,” said Murphy.
Parent distributed a memo last week that outlined a contingency plan. If the school board voted down the New Tech High School, he would go forward with a project outside the school corporation.
Parent says he’s just getting started with that plan. The earliest the school could open would be 2011, he said.