For Immediate Release: July 19, 2013
Mississippi Board of Education Takes First Step to Reconstitute Tate County School District
JACKSON, Miss. –The Mississippi Board of Education voted Friday to begin the process to reconstitute the Tate County School District, which essentially returns the district back to the community.
Tate County was one of three school districts the Board voted to begin the process of exiting from conservatorship and returning them to their communities. The other two were Hazlehurst City School District and North Panola School District.
“Overall, conservators have done a good job of getting these districts back on track,” said Dr. Larry Drawdy, interim deputy state superintendent of education.
In March 2009, the Board of Education voted to ask former Gov. Haley Barbour to declare a state of emergency in the Tate County School District. The district faced many issues that jeopardized the safety, security and educational interests of the students enrolled in the schools. Most notably, the problems included violations pertaining to financial resources and violations of accreditation, board policy and state law.
“Once these impairments have been substantially corrected, the state can begin the process to return the district back to the community,” Drawdy said.
Currently, the district has met academic growth for the last two school years and moved from an “D” rating to a “C” rating.
With the Board’s vote, a request will now be made to the Governor’s Office to issue a proclamation that the Tate County School District is no longer in an emergency situation. As part of the transition, the Board of Education will notify the Tate County Board of Supervisors to provide for the election of school board members.
Conservator James Malone will remain in full charge of the district operations until a superintendent, appointed by the new board, takes office. Local operation with a school board and superintendent is scheduled to be completed on or before July 1, 2014. A tentative timeline can be found here.