STARKVILLE, Miss.—Legislation was passed in the Mississippi House almost unanimously to bring together Oktibbeha County and Starkville city schools.
Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway said he’s still not on board with the proposal but was expecting the vote to go that way.
“I guess we suspected it, we’re not surprised it passed the house,” he said.
He said the move to merge the two districts has gone way to fast without seeking other options but pointed out there is still more legislation that must be cleared before it becomes a reality.
“We believe the real work will be with the senate education committee now.”
Dr. Holloway pointed to the community around the school districts as one of the chief reasons not to merge the low-performing Oktibbeha County with his school district.
“We think it will affect a lot of things like Mississippi State, Starkville city, and the economy here,” he added.
His reasoning was the combination of the two districts’ test scores would lower the overall average of the area. He said businesses aren’t as likely to come to an area with lower performing districts too.
If the final legislation eventually passed in Jackson, the test scores for the two districts would have a grace period where SSD would have a few years still separate from OCSD.