Nicole Bexten

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Talking Consolidation

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)-Today was the first real glimpse at how difficult it is going to be to merge the Starkville and Oktibbeha County school districts. The Consolidation oversight committee met again today to talk over issues facing the two districts. Today’s meeting focused heavily on infrastructure and buildings from the two districts. Committee members found out that many of the Oktibbeha County buildings need substantial work, work that must be paid for.

On the topic of finances both districts say they are close to being maxed out as far as taxing and bonds go. One idea is to get the Legislature to provide special funding. Business leaders say it is crucial that something be done.

Jen Gregory of the GSDP told WCBI, ” The business community fully support education and with that the consolidation effort. But it’s imperative this commission really look at the different factors: resources, facilities, infrastructure, logistics, curriculum….everything to make a plan.”

State lawmakers passed a bill this year to consolidate the schools. But the merger doesn’t take effect until 2015.