Poplarville School District proposes its own consolidation plan

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In light of a recent proposal for the Lamar County School District to adopt the entirety of the Lumberton School District, the Poplarville School Board submitted its own proposal to the Mississippi Board of Education last week.
In 2016, the Mississippi Legislature passed SB2500, mandating the consolidation of the Lumberton School District between Lamar and Pearl River counties.
A consolidation committee was formed and reportedly only met once last year, according to previous coverage.
In March, the Lamar County School District made a proposal to absorb the Lumberton schools, continue to operate its elementary and high schools and allow students to continue attending those campuses. That would include students who currently reside in Pearl River County, according to previous coverage.
Other discussions have proposed the county line become the district boundary, previous coverage states.
Poplarville Superintendent Carl Merritt previously expressed concern about Pearl River County students who could have to travel to attend Lamar County Schools if the Lumberton schools were ever closed, and the new proposal from the district reflects that concern.
According to Poplarville’s proposal sent to the Item Monday afternoon via fax, the district would approve the Lamar County School District’s proposal as long as it maintains the operation of Lumberton campuses. However, if the district was ever unable to maintain all campuses in Lumberton, students living in Pearl River County will be transferred to the Poplarville School District, rather than other schools in Lamar County.
With those student transfers would also come federal, state and local funds, including those from ad valorem taxes and 16th section land, the proposal states.
Merritt said the proposal was approved by the Poplarville School Board and submitted to Mike Kent with the Mississippi Department of Education.
SB2500 gave the districts until 2019 to make a final proposal.

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About Julia Arenstam

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