New school district maps planned
by Rory Doyle
Mar 11, 2013 | 3116 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mississippi Department of Education has drafted boundary lines for reapportionment maps of the newly created North Bolivar School District (above) and West Bolivar School District, which will be officially established July 1, 2014. Citizens of each of the five indicated sections will vote for a new school board member from their specific territory.
The Mississippi Department of Education has drafted boundary lines for reapportionment maps of the newly created North Bolivar School District (above) and West Bolivar School District, which will be officially established July 1, 2014. Citizens of each of the five indicated sections will vote for a new school board member from their specific territory.
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The Mississippi Department of Education has drafted boundary lines for reapportionment maps of the newly created West Bolivar School District and North Bolivar School District, which will be officially established July 1, 2014.

The maps are currently posted on the MDE website at www.mde.k12.ms.us.

The latest news comes following MDE town hall meetings hosted in January in the towns that will be impacted by the merges — Rosedale, Shaw, Benoit, Mound Bayou and Shelby.

"The boundary lines have been created based on input from five town hall meetings and other public meetings," said Patrice Guilfoyle, director of Communications at MDE.

"The maps will be submitted to the Mississippi Board of Education next week for its consideration during its regularly scheduled board meeting," added Guilfoyle.

Each map is marked with five colored sections, with each color indicating the geographic territory where citizens will vote for a new school board member from their region.

The MDE and the Secretary of State's Office has set a November 2013 tentative date to hold special elections to establish the new boards.

Five school board members would come from the newly formed North Bolivar School District and five would come from the newly formed West Bolivar School District.

"Upon approval, the maps will be submitted to the Department of Justice for review and comments," said Guilfoyle. "The DOJ has 60 days to review."

The Department of Justice will make the final ruling in all official matters.

On May 22, 2012, Gov. Phil Bryant signed S.B. 2760, the legislation requiring school administrative consolidation in any Mississippi county with more than five separate school districts.

Bolivar County includes six school district administrative boards.

S.B. 2760 does not address consolidation of schools.

North Bolivar School district will merge administratively with Mound Bayou School District and West Bolivar School District will merge with Shaw and Benoit School Districts.

The Cleveland School District will remain as it was prior to the passing of the legislation.

The administrative consolidation will become official on July 1, 2014.

According to Interim Deputy Superintendent for the Mississippi Department of Education Mike Kent, who spoke to the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors in November of 2012, the decision making powers for the school districts will be in the hands of the existing boards until official consolidation date.

According to the numbers presented by the MDE, after the consolidation occurs the North Bolivar School District would be comprised of approximately 1,265 students and the West Bolivar School District would have approximately 1,689 students.

Kent explained further that the central office of the new North Bolivar School District would be placed in Mound Bayou and in the West Bolivar School District, it would be placed in Shelby.

However, Kent said, according to Mississippi Code, a school board for a particular school district can vote to move that central office to any location they so choose.