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The House passes legislation consolidating four area school districts and the Senate is expected to do the same by the end of the day.

The bills to merge the Oktibbeha County district with Starkville and Clay County with West Point passed with little opposition this morning.

Both mergers will take effect by July 1, 2015.

The Starkville bill establishes a seven-person committee to make recommendations by next March on the best ways to handle consolidation, long-term facility needs and how to pay for them. The committee will include three representatives from the Starkville school district. The existing Starkville school board will oversee the new district until a vacancy occurs. Then an election will be held.

West Point will appoint three members to a new board there and county residents will elect two school board members.

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