Video: Oktibbeha County Residents Voice Consolidation Concerns At Public Hearing

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Oktibbeha County and Starkville residents took the podium, letting consolidation commission members hear their thoughts about their proposed plan for the merger.

“We had some very good comments a great deal of support was expressed for what the commission has done to this point with full recognition that we’re not complete and there’s a lot of hard work yet to do,” said Dr. David Shaw, Commission Member for the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure.

Right now, the plan consists of various short-term and long-term possibilities, including maintaining all existing elementary schools while revamping the existing middle and high schools. Several people in the crowd expressed support for the commission’s efforts at expanding preschool opportunities. But there are still several parts some residents, like Cathleen Poe and Mary McCaskill Young are worried about.

“They want the county to do more and then the city not do as much as it should do,” said Poe.

” What’s going to happen to the empty schools and what is going to happen to the county where they are going to be taking on extra costs and the city is not going to be part of that,” said Young.

“I think that funding from county, mileage is probably the most pressing need because there are physical and infrastructure and technological needs that need to be addressed in the county now,” said Michelle Jones, President of Parents for Public Schools Starkville.

Commissioners plan on discussing the comments at their work session early Friday morning.

“We have gathered the information that’s necessary and now ti’s down to the real heard work of actually hammering out what those recommendations are going to be,” said Dr. Shaw.

Officials plan on having their report finalized by January. From there they’ll send it to the legislature.


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