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Video: School Consolidation Plan Ready for Lawmakers

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- With the stroke of a pen, commissioners for the Starkville Consolidated School Structure signed their final report. It now heads to lawmakers in Jackson.

“We have recommended some language to be put into the law that will make this easier to accomplish. I think as we look forward to other consolidations throughout the state that this report will be a model,” said Dr. Lewis Holloway, Superintendent for the Starkville School District.

It’s a model Christie Rogers agrees with. Both of her children attend Starkville schools.

“I’ve always thought that education for every child, whether it’s county or city is very important. It means a lot to me that a new groundbreaking for Starkville School District will be taking place,” said Rogers.

The commission recommendations include a strong partnership with Mississippi State University. In the report, commissioners propose constructing a new school for 6th and 7th grades located on or near the MSU campus. They’ll also establish a pre-kindergarten program for all four year olds in Oktibbeha County.

“There are several people that will personally get hard copies of this report and then it will be up to us as community people to perhaps do some follow up and find out what the items of concerns are, to find out what the issues are,” said Orlando Trainer, one of the commissioners and District 2 Supervisor for Oktibbeha County.

Funding is also a major item in the report. The report proposes lawmakers provide up to $9 million for construction of the new middle school and up to $8 million to fund the construction of the new Pre-K program, with $1 million coming in annually for 5 years.

“There’s still a lot that has to be done. The issues of issuing 3 mil levees and reverse bond referendum and doing the repairs to the county schools as well as the items we’ve planned to improve in the Starkville School District,” said Dr. Holloway.

Leaders also recommend several options for local funding. They remain hopeful lawmakers will take every consideration seriously.

“I think at the end of the day, we’re looking forward to getting something passed this year that is as close to those recommendations as possible,” said Trainer.

Some changes could take effect as soon as August. Starkville High will expand current services to Oktibbeha County School District 9th-12th grade students during the first block for advance placement courses, fine arts, and other electives.

The report also included where elementary and high school students will attend school.