Citizen’s Group Runs out the Clock on North Bolivar

MOUND BAYOU, MS (Ben Caxton) — Time has run out this year for the North Bolivar Scool Districts attempt to fix its financial woes by combining schools. The District says that for 2018 they will keep both Broad Street and John F. Kennedy High Schools open and continue to pay two principals, two office staffs, and maintain two buildings for a combined enrollment at the two schools of less than 300 students. Citing a looming cash crisis and some of the highest personnel costs in the state the school board voted to combine operations at Broad Street and close Kennedy earlier this year. But a local citizen’s group sued and got a chancery judge to issue an injunction to require the board to get permission from the state. When the state responded saying the decision was up to the local board the group posted a bond to keep the injunction in place while they appealed the State Supreme Court. Without knowing when the court will hear the case the board had little choice but to open both schools for yet another year. North Bolivar, with just five schools, spends more than 95% of its budget on staff compared to a statewide average of around 80% and estimates it may not have enough money to operate next year unless changes are made.



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