A bill currently being considered by the House Ways and Means Committee could give control of Muncie Community Schools to Ball State University. In an email to the university, President Geoffrey Mearns says the legislation "presents an historic opportunity for our University and the community that we serve."
The amendment to House Bill 1315 was introduced to the committee Wednesday. If approved, the university would assume responsibility for managing the financially-struggling district beginning July 1.
The Star Press reports the bill would allow the Ball State University Board of Trustees to govern MCS with a newly-appointed seven-member board that will include appointments from the university, the mayor of Muncie and the city council.
Mearns says the potential responsibility of managing MCS is consistent with the university’s institutional interest.
"The future of Muncie is dependent on the quality of our public schools, and our University’s future is affected by the vitality and vibrancy of Muncie," said Mearns. "In short, our fortunes are linked: as we improve educational outcomes for MCS students, we will be securing an even brighter future for our University."
Mearns says the initial goal with MCS would be to stem the decline in student enrollment and eventually increase it. He adds the university would not use student tuition or state funding to subsidize the managing of MCS.
You can read Mearns’ full email to the university by clicking here.