Bryant signs bill forcing Sunflower school merger

By The Associated Press

JACKSON – Sunflower County will have only one school district starting in July 2014, under a law signed by Gov. Phil Bryant Thursday.

Senate Bill 2330 requires merging the Indianola, Drew and Sunflower County districts, all currently under state control. The bill does not require closing any current schools, although residents have said they fear that result. The districts have more than 4,300 students.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who pushed the law, said it would save money and provide better education.

A countywide school board would be elected in November 2013. No previous board member from the three predecessor districts could run. The new school board would appoint a superintendent.

A similar measure to consolidate Bolivar County’s six districts into three or fewer has fizzled so far in this legislative session.