School consolidation bill eyes Okolona/Chickasaw
By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON – Four Northeast Mississippi school districts would be consolidated under legislation proposed by Rep. Brad Mayo, R-Oxford.
Amory and Aberdeen would be merged, while the Okolona and Chickasaw County districts would be consolidated in Mayo’s proposal, which consolidates 21 districts into 11.
He conceded Tuesday the legislation is not likely to pass this year. He introduced the same legislation during the previous two sessions.
He joked that he is approaching consolidation “whole hog” while other legislators are doing it “nickel and dime, and right now nickel and dime is winning.”
In the past two sessions, West Point and Clay County have been consolidated and Oktibbeha and Starkville have been put on a path toward consolidation. Plus, districts in Bolivar and Sunflower counties have merged.
Mayo said he is proposing the consolidation plan recommended by consultants hired by a task force created by then-Gov. Haley Barbour in 2010. Barbour proposed reducing the then-154 school districts (including three agriculture high schools) by a third to save money.
“This is a way to get more money out of administration and into the classroom” while improving academic performance, Mayo said. He stressed that the consolidation would be of districts and not of schools. Whether any schools would be merged would be up to the local governing boards. Mayo said he believes school mergers would be unlikely.
The Colorado-based consultant hired by Barbour’s task force, John Augenblick, found that the consolidation would not save state funds but could reduce local spending on administration.
Rep. Chris Brown, R-Aberdeen, said he does not believe consolidation would work for Aberdeen and Amory.
“Those are two separate communities with two separate taxing districts. I don’t know how that would work,” he said. He said he supports saving money but questioned how much savings would come from consolidation.
“If two districts want to merge, let the local people work it out,” Brown sad. “I am not in favor of forcing it on them.”
Sen. Russell Jolly, D-Houston, said he does not believe the local people would support consolidation in Chickasaw County so he would be hesitant to support it.
Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves predicted before the session began that more school district consolidation would occur.
Senate Education Chair Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, has filed seven separate bills dealing with consolidation. They would merge Perry County and Richton; Carroll and Montgomery counties with Winona; merge Amite and Wilkinson counties; Holmes County and Durant; Kemper and Noxubee counties; Leflore County and Greenwood; Claiborne and Jefferson counties.
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to Press This! (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
About Floyd Ingram
- Houlka reviews preliminary test scores October 21, 2016
- MSU names Summer 2016 graduates October 25, 2016
- Collision kills two near Vardaman October 25, 2016
- AP POLL: Mississippi High School Football Rankings, Oct. 25 October 25, 2016
- Toppers ready for Noxubee October 25, 2016
- Moving day at the Museum October 28, 2016
- Houlka aldermen hold budget hearing October 27, 2016
- County formally amends 2016 budget October 27, 2016
- Louisville edges Toppers October 27, 2016
- EDITORIAL: Red Ribbon Week October 26, 2016
- Bet Rob: I came into town over the weekend to ride part of ...
- Jim Garth Horn: Did I miss it or is there anywhere in the article ...
- Americasgone: They have a "no guns" sign on their door. If the...
- Americasgone: This has to be a joke. They have good employees an...
- Jessica Lacy: Leadershipprovides with the opportunity to lead. E...
- RT @wcbiweather: The heat index has surpassed 100 in many spots today. Stay cool out there! #mswx #alwx #wcbi http://t.co/Lt2LRZTDcm 3 years ago
- RT @dennisseid: OSHA: 24 work-related deaths in Miss. last year http://t.co/lgEYYtK7ZR 3 years ago
- Speech pathologists work to better communication skills | Monroe Journal http://t.co/lyHLvb0OS1 3 years ago
- Mumford & Sons bassist has blood clot on brain http://t.co/4xNLMhxaif 3 years ago
- Mobile home fire claims one | Itawamba Times http://t.co/FHouwxbnsp 3 years ago