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Bryant clears way for conservator of county schools

SCOTT COUNTY — Gov. Phil Bryant has issued a proclamation authorizing the Mississippi Board of Education to appoint a conservator for the Scott County School District.

The Scott County School District is rated “B” by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Last week, the Mississippi Board of Education amended Mississippi Public School Accountability Standard 2.3, allowing the board to appoint a conservator for a school district when necessary without also requiring withdrawal of the district’s accreditation. Previously, the appointment of a conservator also required withdrawal of accreditation.

“I have received a second request from the Mississippi Board of Education to authorize the appointment of a conservator for the Scott County School District. Since issuing its first request, the board has amended its policy on withdrawal of accreditation, so authorizing the appointment of a conservator to address issues the board has identified will not cause loss of accreditation for the students and families in this ‘B’ rated district. This course of action was not possible under the board’s previous policy,” Bryant said. “I will continue working with the board to identify solutions that put the interests of students and their families first.”

“Scott County School District is an unusual case in that the reasons for recommending a state of emergency had nothing to do with academic performance. The B-rated district had violations of state and federal law that warranted the board’s recommendation; however, the board determined recently that it needed flexibility regarding the withdrawal of accreditation in similar cases,” said Dr. Wayne Gann, chairman of the State Board of Education.

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