School district merger readies for next step
by Courtney Warren
Jan 10, 2014 | 7184 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Now that school board elections are official and five county districts will become two, the question remains what happens next?

The Mississippi Legislature mandated to reduce the number of school districts in Bolivar County and administrative consolidation is to take place at the 2014 school year.

According to Mississippi Deputy Superintendent Mike Kent, "The law is pretty specific on much of what is to take place."

Kent is appointed by the Mississippi Board of Education as the transition team leader and will assist the new board members throughout the process.

Kent said that according to Senate Bill 2760 there are specific responsibilities involved in moving forward.

The next step will be a meeting at the Mississippi Department of Education headquarters with the current board members, the newly elected board members, the current superintendents and the current board attorneys.

"What we are going to do is to take a recent attorney generals opinion and talk about action items for everyone involved. There is a plan in place and it's one of those things that is step by step," said Kent.

The new superintendents for the new school districts will be appointed by new board members.

According to Kent, those new board members must be sworn in and begin the deliberation process so they can have a superintendent in place and ready to go by July 1.

"The new board will be trained by the Mississippi School Board Association.

"What's good is that many of the members of the new board are already current board members in various places so there is some experience as it relates to school leadership," said Kent.

Bolivar County is the only county in the state that has six school districts.

North Bolivar School District and Mound Bayou Public School District will consolidate and be renamed North Bolivar Consolidated School District with a total of 1,265 students.

West Bolivar School District, Shaw School District and Benoit School District will consolidate into West Bolivar Consolidated School District with a total of 1,689 students.

The Cleveland School District will not be affected.

Both new school boards will appoint the superintendents for their districts.