For Immediate Release: February 6, 2014
State Board of Education Asks Governor to Declare State of Emergency
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Board of Education (MBE) determined that an extreme emergency situation exists in the Scott County School District. Acting on a recommendation from the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation, the MBE voted unanimously to ask Gov. Phil Bryant to declare a state of emergency for the school district.
The Scott County School District has several issues that jeopardize the safety, security and educational interests of the children enrolled in its schools. The district is in violation of 27 of the 31 accreditation standards the Mississippi Department of Education reviewed. Accreditation audits found unsafe transportation conditions for special needs students in violation of federal and state law, missing information from some student records that proved they met all graduation requirements, and inconsistencies in personnel reports, contracts, district payroll reports and school board minutes.
“The Board is very concerned about the safety and security of the students in the Scott County School District. The dysfunctional relationship between the local school board and the superintendent and the impact on the educational interests of the students left us no choice but to intervene,” said Dr. Wayne Gann, chairman of the Board.
A state of emergency would allow the MBE to:
- Remove the Superintendent and School Board Members
- Place a conservator in the district
- Request funds from the Legislative Emergency School Fund, and
- Address budget needs
If the governor agrees with the Board, officials from the Mississippi Department of Education plan to meet with the administration, faculty and staff of the Scott County District early next week, followed by an evening meeting with parents and community leaders to communicate a plan of action to assist the district in meeting accreditation requirements.
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