2013 Mississippi Code
Title 37 - EDUCATION
Chapter 7 - SCHOOL DISTRICTS; BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Article 3 - ABOLITION, ALTERATION AND CREATION OF DISTRICTS
§ 37-7-104 - Consolidation of certain county school districts under conservatorship into one countywide district under certain circumstances; procedure


MS Code § 37-7-104 (2013) What's This?

(1) In any Mississippi county in which are located, as of February 8, 2012, three (3) school districts and only three (3) school districts, all of which are under conservatorship as defined by the Mississippi Department of Education as of February 8, 2012, there shall be an administrative consolidation of all of the school districts in the county into one (1) countywide school district with one (1) county board of education. The State Board of Education shall determine the school district(s) applicable to the provisions of this section and spread this finding on the minutes of its August 2012 meeting. On or before September 1, 2012, the State Board of Education shall serve the local school boards applicable to the provisions of this section, or the Mississippi Department of Education Conservator for each of the three (3) school districts, with notice and instruction regarding the action to be taken to comply with this section. In such county, there shall be a new county board of education elected in a November 2013 special election which shall be called for that purpose and the new county board members shall be elected as provided in Section 37-5-7, Mississippi Code of 1972. No previous board member shall be eligible to serve on the newly elected board. Provided, however, that it shall be the responsibility of the board of supervisors of such county to apportion the countywide school district into five (5) new single member board of education districts which shall be consistent with the supervisors district lines in said county. The board of supervisors of said county shall thereafter publish the same in some newspaper of general circulation within said county for at least three (3) consecutive weeks and after having given notice of publication and recording the same upon the minutes of the board of supervisors of said county, said new district lines will thereafter be effective for the November 2013 special election. If necessary, the county board of education of said county shall reapportion the board of education districts in accordance with applicable law as soon as practicable after the results of the 2020 decennial census are published and as soon as practicable after every decennial census thereafter. The new county board of education, with the written approval of the Mississippi Department of Education Conservator and the State Board of Education, shall provide for the administrative consolidation of all school districts in the county into one (1) countywide school district on or before July 1 next following the November 2013 election. The new county board of education shall serve as the school board for the county. Any school district affected by the required administrative consolidation that does not voluntarily consolidate with the new school district ordered by the county board of education shall be administratively consolidated by the State Board of Education with the countywide school district, to be effective on July 1 following the election of the new county board of education. The State Board of Education shall promptly move on its own motion to administratively consolidate any school district which does not voluntarily consolidate in order to enable the affected school districts to reasonably accomplish the resulting administrative consolidation into one (1) countywide district by July 1 following the election of the new county board of education. All affected school districts shall comply with any consolidation order issued by the county board of education or the State Board of Education, as the case may be, on or before July 1 following the election of the new county board of education.

(2) On July 1 following the election of the new county board of education, the former county board of education and the former board of trustees of any municipal separate, or special municipal separate school district located in such county shall be abolished. All real and personal property which is owned or titled in the name of a school district located in such county shall be transferred to the new reorganized school district of the county in which such school district is located. The Mississippi Department of Education Conservator and the State Board of Education shall be responsible for establishing the contracts for teachers and principals for the next school year following the required administrative consolidation with the consultation of the newly elected successor county board of education. The successor county board of education shall appoint the new county superintendent of education for the reorganized school district. The county superintendent of education of said reorganized school district shall not be elected but shall thereafter be appointed by the successor county board of education in the manner provided in Section 37-9-25. The superintendents of the former under-performing school districts located in the county shall not be eligible for appointment as the new superintendent. The selection of the appointed county superintendent of education and the assistant superintendent of education in the central administration office of the successor countywide school district shall be the responsibility of the successor county board of education with the approval of the Mississippi Department of Education Conservator and the State Board of Education. No such administratively consolidated school district shall have more than one (1) assistant superintendent of education. It shall be the responsibility of the successor county board of education, with approval of the Mississippi Department of Education Conservator and the State Board of Education, to prepare and approve the budget of the new reorganized districts, and the county board of education may use staff from the former school districts to prepare the budget. Any proposed order of the successor county board of education directing the transfer of the assets, real or personal property of an affected school district in the county, shall be submitted and approved by the State Board of Education. The finding of the State Board of Education shall be final and conclusive for the purposes of the transfer of property required by such administrative consolidation. Any person or school district aggrieved by an order of the successor county school board of education pursuant to the required administrative consolidation may appeal therefrom to the State Board of Education within ten (10) days from the date of the adjournment of the meeting at which such order is entered. Such appeal shall be de novo, and the finding of the State Board of Education upon such question shall be final and conclusive for the purpose of the approval or disapproval of the action by said county board of education.

(3) When any school district in such county is abolished under the provisions of this section, the abolition thereof shall not impair or release the property of such former school district from liability for the payment of the bonds or other indebtedness of such district and it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors of said county to levy taxes on the property of said district so abolished from year to year according to the terms of such indebtedness until same shall be fully paid.

(4) In the administratively consolidated countywide school district created under this section, the ad valorem tax rate shall be determined as set forth under Section 37-57-1 et seq.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require or restrict the closing of any school or school facility, unless such facility is an unneeded administrative office located within a school district which has been abolished under the provisions of this section. All administrative consolidations under this section shall be accomplished so as not to delay or in any manner negatively affect the desegregation of another school district in the county pursuant to court order.

(6) The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and regulations to facilitate the administrative consolidation of the school districts in a county pursuant to this section. When the orders of the successor county board of education adopting the boundaries of the successor countywide school district have been entered and are final, as approved by the State Board of Education, the new district lines shall be submitted by the State Board of Education with the assistance of the Attorney General to the Attorney General of the United States for preclearance or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended. In the event the change in the school district lines are precleared or approved, the State Board of Education shall formally declare the new lines as the new boundaries of the consolidated countywide school district.

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