Mississippi Senate Bills Would Merge School Districts

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Jackson, Miss.

Three pairs of school districts would be merged under bills passed Tuesday by the Senate Education Committee.

Separate measures would combine school districts in Greenwood and Leflore County, Winona and Montgomery County and Claiborne and Jefferson counties.

Leflore and Claiborne have been in the spotlight after they were taken over by the state for poor academic performance and breaking state rules.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican, argues that consolidation will produce more efficient districts.

All the districts would be combined in July 2015.

Tollison did not bring forward bills to consolidate Holmes County and Durant, Amite and Wilkinson counties and Kemper and Noxubee counties, citing a lack of time.

The House is also considering a bill that would consolidate the Clarksdale and Coahoma County districts.