MDE to host town meetings
Jan 06, 2013 | 2654 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Mississippi Department of Education has scheduled a series of town hall meetings to discuss possible criteria to be used in the reapportionment of school board member lines in the newly created West Bolivar School District and the North Bolivar School District.

Meetings will be as follows:

• West Bolivar — 6 p.m. Monday at the West Bolivar High School Auditorium in Rosedale.

• North Bolivar — 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Broad Street High School Gym in Shelby.

• Shaw — 6 p.m. Wednesday at McEvans School Gym in Shaw.

• Benoit — 6 p.m. Thursday at Ray Brooks Gym in Benoit.

• Mound Bayou — 6 p.m. Jan. 14 at I.T. Montgomery Elementary School Cafeteria in Mound Bayou.

The public is encouraged to attend any or all of these meetings.

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

Bolivar County includes six school district administrative boards.

The law 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 date for the administrative consolidation to become official is July 1, 2014.

The Mississippi Department of Education and the Secretary of State's Office has set a November 2013 tentative date to hold a special election where a new, countywide board would be comprised.

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 Districts.

According to Interim Deputy Superintendent for the Mississippi Department of Education Mike Kent, who spoke to the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors in November, the decision making powers for the school districts will be in the hands of the existing boards until July 1, 2014, 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 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 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 that they so choose.