/Bryant finalizes four school consolidations

Bryant finalizes four school consolidations

Gov. Phil Bryant signed a number of bills Wednesday to consolidate public schools in four Mississippi counties. These bills, which were passed earlier in the year by the legislature, will combine Montgomery County to Winona and Durant to Holmes County and Leflore County and Greenwood. They also include Lumberton and Poplarville as well as Lamar County. The Mississippi Legislature had not consolidated any school districts in 30 years. The state’s 13 school districts have been merged by lawmakers since 2012, reducing the number from 152 to just 139. The consolidations are argued by supporters because they will reduce administrative costs and free up money to improve education quality. Governor Phil Bryant stated, “We must make sure that we are as efficient in state government as possible.” Phil Bryant released a statement. Phil Bryant said in a statement. Deirdre Maies, chairwoman for the Greenwood Public Schools board said that the consolidation was law at this point and that she would do all in her power to ensure that it went smoothly. “Personally, though, I think a decision like this should be left up to local officials instead of state.” The Montgomery County/Winona and Durant/Holmes County consolidations will occur in 2018, and the Leflore County/Greenwood and Lumberton/Poplarville/Lamar County consolidations will occur in 2019.