Failing Schools Could Merge with NeighborsBy Annie Gilbertson | Published 16 Mar 2012 07:42am |
Students in failing school districts may be packing up and moving next door. Both the Mississippi House and Senate passed bills yesterday that would allow individual students or entire student bodies to move to neighboring districts if theirs is failing.
But MPB's Southern Education Desk reporter, Annie Gilbertson, reports forced school mergers are still fueling debate among lawmakers.
The author of the Senate bill Republican Gray Tollison says failing districts get taken over, improve under the state, get turned back to local authorities, only to fail again down the line. His solution? Instead of putting the state in charge, have neighboring districts take over.
Tollison: "You increase the possibility of school improvement, but it's more about efficiency."
When he introduced the bill to the Senate, Tollison avoided terms like consolidation, a term which many legislators have opposed year after year, in favor of idioms such as "give your neighbor a helping hand."
But not everyone on the floor thought school districts should be forced to be so neighborly.
Democrat Hob Bryan proposed an amendment that would allow successful neighboring schools to say no.
Bryan: “What this bill does is allow the state department to come in and say we are going to change the boundaries of your school district, send you the students in a failing school district, and there is not a thing you can do about it.”
Byran’s amendment passed. Many legislators were concerned forced consolidation would be unpopular with constituents back home.
From the Southern Education Desk, for MPB News, I'm Annie Gilbertson.
BACK TO TOP
CommentsMPB will not tolerate obscenities, threats/personal attacks, hate speech, material that is ethnically or racially offensive, abusive comments, comments off topic and spam, to name a few. You can see a complete list of the MPB guidelines by viewing our terms of service. If you spot a comment you think violates these guidelines, report it to the moderators by clicking "x" next to the comment, then "report”. MPB reserves the right to adjust these guidelines. If you have a suggestion, please contact us.
BACK TO TOP