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Board approves temporary rule change regarding loss of school accreditation

JACKSON — The Mississippi Board of Education has approved a temporary rule that will allow the Commission on School Accreditation and the Board greater flexibility regarding the withdrawal of accreditation in a district that is placed under conservatorship.

The rule amends an accreditation policy and that states “any school district placed in conservatorship may have its accreditation withdrawn.” The original policy stated the district’s accreditation “will” be withdrawn.

The temporary rule is effective immediately and lasts for 120 days while the revised policy is out for public comment under the Administrative Procedures Act.

Following the completion of the APA process, the board will vote on adopting the policy change.

Dr. Wayne Gann, chairman of the Board, said the intent of the original policy was to get local communities involved in the school district when it was academically failing and placed in conservatorship.

“We did not anticipate it would apply to ‘A’ and ‘B’ districts,” he said, referring to the board’s recent decision to ask Gov. Phil Bryant to declare a state of emergency in Scott County School District. The district had been found to be in violation of state and federal statutes, and the district was rated as a “B.”

“The board needs this flexibility in determining what’s in the best interest of students,” Gann said.

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