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School officials struggle with overcrowded classrooms

HERNANDO — DeSoto County school officials will not move students around the district this fall but will find some way to use existing buildings to deal with a growing enrollment.

With more than 30,000 students in more than 40 schools across the county, DeSoto County Schools is Mississippi’s largest public district. Crowding has been a constant problem for the district during DeSoto County’s dramatic growth and led to major a building campaign that added several schools in recent years.

“We have decided not to move forward with redistricting or rezoning,” schools Superintendent Milton Kuykendall said in a statement. “We have worked out a solution to creatively use existing buildings and accommodate our enrollment.”

District spokeswoman Katherine Nelson tells The Commercial Appeal more information would be offered as plans are finalized.

Kuykendall’s statement said letters will be sent to parents telling them of the decision not to change boundaries.

“One of the strengths of our school system is the dedication and involvement of our parents,” Kuykendall said. “When they talk, we listen. We thank them for their cooperation and input.”

An explanation of the proposed changes on the district’s website, www.desotocountyschools.org, had explained the proposed changes and said they were needed to relieve crowding at some schools that are over capacity. A lack of state funding made major renovations or construction projects financially unfeasible, the website says.

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