Most Mississippi school districts would not be required to merge back-office services into a county-level office under a bill passed Thursday by the House Education Committee.
Gov. Phil Bryant had proposed forcing such mergers for all counties that have multiple school districts in an effort to save money, but says he supports the House version.
House Bill 838 would require state officials to designate two counties for service mergers in each of the four congressional districts. Those districts would be required to merge purchasing,
transportation, information technology and food services beginning in the fall of 2013. Other districts could merge voluntarily later.
The bill originally merged payroll and human resources, but those were dropped.
Of Mississippi's 82 counties, 31 are already entirely in one school district. Those wouldn't be affected.