Consultants say 18 Mississippi school districts could be improved by merging with higher performing districts, generally their neighbors.
The 18 have small enrollments. Many are in low-income areas and have higher than average per-pupil administrative costs. Several are in northern Mississippi and the Delta.
The 18 districts consultants identified for possible mergers with others are: Aberdeen, Benoit, Coahoma County, Coffeeville, Drew, East Jasper, Hazlehurst, Hollandale, Indianola, Jefferson Davis County, Kemper County, Montgomery County, North Panola, Okolona, Oktibbeha County, Quitman County, Shaw and West Tallahatchie.
Denver-based consultants presented their findings Monday to a school-consolidation commission appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour.
Mississippi has 149 districts and three agricultural high schools. Consultants also say the agriculture schools should be merged with neighboring districts.
Editor's note: The online version of this story is correct. The original Associated Press version, aired on WTOK's broadcast channel, left out a key word that made that version of the story incorrect. What was published by A.P. as 'Quitman' should have read 'Quitman County'.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.