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OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI)-  Parents in Okolona are worried about the school district’s financial problems.

3 years ago the State Department of Education took over the district because of low performance.

But even though 3 years have past, spokesperson Pete Smith admits, turning things around has been a challenge.

“Basically, Okolona has been operating on a shoe string budget. Funding has been cut, state-wide. You know there has to be some local support of funds as well to help school districts and there’s just not alot of money coming into the district at this time,” says Smith.

Parents say they’re concerned the school district may cut funding for field trips.

“I can’t speak about the cancellation of any field trips. I don’t know anything about that, however, we do know that we have to watch every penny of Okolona School District’s money so that in hopes that we can stabilize this in the future,” says Smith.

Wienie Baker and Sherry Bogan have children in the Okolona School District. They say they’re afraid that the District’s problems will have a lasting effect on their children’s education.

“We always get the ones that aren’t going to help us and if we could start bringing someone into our district to help us, then we could see some kind of educational improvement,” says Baker.

“I just hope that they would do better..you know so that it would be better for the kids” says Bogan.

Smith says despite the District’s issues, he wants to assure parents their children’s education is their number one priority.

“The situation with the finances have been very dire. And we’re doing all we can to ensure the students in Okolona School district receive the best quality education that they can receive,” says Smith.

Okolona schools still rank as low performing on the State’s accountability system.

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