State Seeks to Take over Scott County Schools

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Jackson, Miss.
The Mississippi Board of Education is asking Gov. Phil Bryant to approve its plan to take over Scott County Schools.

The board's action Thursday followed an earlier unanimous vote by the Commission on School Accreditation.

Bryant must declare an emergency before officials can appoint a conservator, deposing the current superintendent and school board.

The 4,200-student district rates "B" under the state's grading system, but is split by conflict between the school board and elected superintendent.

State reports allege Superintendent Bingham Moncrief rules through intimidation and flouting state rules, though Moncrief says he's the victim of a vendetta.

Unusually, board members support a takeover, even if they lose their jobs.

A takeover means sports teams, including the girls' basketball team led by star Victoria Vivians, can't compete for state championships.