School district conservators are working to improve school ratings
NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- School districts can be faced with many challenges from a lack of funding to slipping academics. If problems continue they can lead to a failing grade by the Mississippi Department of Education, and if a district fails more than once, the governor can declare a state of emergency. That’s when a conservator is appointed to bring the school into compliance.
For Noxubee County, state-appointed conservator, Rodriguez Broadnax, spent the past few years learning how to turn his district around.
“Anytime state department of education takes over a school district there has to be someone there to lead it because most of the time the board is abolished and the current superintendent is removed,” said Broadnax.
As conservator, Broadnax is the interim superintendent for the Noxubee County School District. He was hired to help the school district get back on track.
“The law requires that a district is a C or above for five consecutive years to return to local control,” said Brodnax.
However, if that goal isn’t met.
“You can really face consolidation with another school district that means we start over nobody can have jobs. Students suffer because they have to be bussed to other school districts in other areas within the region,” said Broadnax.
Conservators are important to school districts. When they come in, they want to make various things better but it all starts with a change.
“The resistance of change that is a huge challenge by administrators, teachers, support staff even parents,” said Broadnax.
When Broadnax took over his position three years ago he saw a need for the school district to improve organization, financial structure, and getting away from the buddy system.
“You got to have somebody from the outside because you need fresh ideas a different mindset from doing things differently than we’ve done before,” said Broadnax.
Broadnax’s last day in Noxubee County is June 30, 2021. Dr. Washington Cole has been appointed by the state to fill the remainder of the conservator’s term.