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School consolidation study lands funding

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour’s office says two groups are paying for a school consolidation analysis in Mississippi, and his office has applied for money from a third group.

Barbour spokesman Laura Hipp said yesterday that the privately-funded Barksdale Reading Institute, based in Oxford, is giving money for the study, and the National Governors Association has given the state a grant.

She says the Governor’s Office also is applying for a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Barbour wants Mississippi to go from 152 school districts to 100, and he appointed a commission to explore how to do that.

The commission met Monday and hired a Denver-based consulting firm to analyze Mississippi’s school districts to see which ones could best merge. The contract is for about $72,000.

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