Mississippi's superintendent of education, Dr. Hank Bounds, has told lawmakers that four school districts might have to be taken over by the state because of severe budget problems.
Bounds told the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday that the Indianola, Kemper County, Tate County and Noxubee County districts won't have enough money to make payroll. He said the shortfall could happen in the next several weeks.
However, the Noxubee County district says coding errors led the Mississippi Department of Education to determine it was facing a deficit. Officials say that mistake was cleared up during a site visit this week.
Noxubee County says it will have to make cuts because of mandated state reductions, but it has enough money to operate this year and not be in the red.
Earlier this week, Bounds said a state takeover is the only option because the districts have no authority to borrow or raise taxes before the fiscal year ends June 30.
Bounds said the state Department of Education would need lawmakers to provide $5 million in additional funding for the takeover.