The candidates for Sunflower County School Board are: District 1 — Emma Modley and Kenneth Wraggs; District 2 — Edward Thomas, Jimmy Smith, Betty Petty, Jacqueline Hannah and Lizzie Johnson; District 3 — Carolyn Johnson, Marvin McDuffy Flowers and Debra Bradley Johnson; District 4 — Daisy James Morgan, Darlester Foster, Annie Bee Childs, and Torey L. Bell Sr.; District 5 —Melanie Townsend and Alphonso “Al" Carter.
The school district is currently run by the state but will be freed of the take over next school year. In addition school board members will be in line with county supervisor districts instead of where the schools are located.
In the past, Sunflower County was split into three separate school districts, which were Indianola, Sunflower County and Drew.
Drew and Ruleville, which is part of the Sunflower County School District, merged last year.
According to the Mississippi Department of Education, Drew and Indianola School Districts were both ranked failing and Sunflower County at low performing for 2010-2011 school year.
"Efficiency in our school districts is important," said Sen. Gray Tollison in a State Senate meeting.
"When it comes to the point that it has to be taken over by the state and you have all three that are failing, then we have to try something different," added Tollison.
It seems that low-test scores have accounted for numerous district consolidations and Mississippi State Department of Education take-overs; Yazoo City Schools are also "up for grabs" because of their low performance.
"By combining these three school districts into one, we can give students in Sunflower County and opportunity for a better education. By eliminating duplicative functions, this new school district could be able to spend more than $1 million more on classroom needs, "said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
According to Senate Bill 2136, it is the intent of the Legislature that the purpose of school district consolidation is to afford school districts greater flexibility in the services they offer students, increased administrative efficiency, and means to address underlying financial deficiencies.