SOUTH BEND — In the competition for transfer students in St. Joseph County, South Bend Community School Corp. is on the losing side of the equation while Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp. is on top.
A total of 6,750 K-12 students living within the South Bend corporation boundaries were enrolled in other school districts this past spring, according to a report from the Indiana Department of Education.
Those transfer students represented nearly 30 percent of the 23,446 children living within the corporation’s boundaries. They either attended another public school system, a public charter school or used state-funded vouchers to attend private schools; the report, however, doesn’t identify which schools they attended.
Only 59 children living outside corporation boundaries, meanwhile, transferred in to attend its schools.
The corporation’s numbers didn’t change much from fall 2017, when the Department of Education released its first such report with transfer student data.
John Ritzler, the corporation’s executive director of research and evaluation services, said there has long been a “large chunk” of South Bend families who choose private and parochial education options.
But the competition has also picked up in recent years among public and charter schools, Ritzler said, making it important for the corporation to step up its marketing efforts to retain students.