Mississippi Commission Will Issue Consolidation Report

Last Updated: June 25, 2010

This article appeared in the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

The Commission on Mississippi Education Structure is finalizing its report on district consolidation. Governor Haley Barbour formed the group in January and asked it to consider options for district closure following his proposal to reduce the number of districts from 152 to 100.

The Commission has heard from consultants who recommended primarily small and low-income districts for consolidation. At least one of those districts sought legal counsel on the matter, and state school board attorneys have clarified that no consolidations can occur without legislation first being passed.

Advocates have challenged statements that attempt to link district size and performance, questioned the lack of transparency in the Commission’s process, and asked the Commission to consider, among other things, the role of historic underfunding of many Mississippi school districts.

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Read more from the June 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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