Mississippi Board of Education Asks Governor to Declare State of Emergency
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Board of Education (MBE) determined that an extreme emergency situation exists in the Tunica County School District. Acting on a recommendation from the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation, the MBE voted unanimously to ask Gov. Phil Bryant to declare a state of emergency for the school district.
The Tunica County School District has significant issues that jeopardize the safety, security and educational interests of the children enrolled in its schools. The district is in violation of 25 of the 31 accreditation standards the Mississippi Department of Education reviewed. Accreditation audits found serious deficiencies in special education, federal programs, instructional programs, career technical education, and district governance.
“The Board is very concerned about the safety, security and educational interests of the children in the Tunica County School District. The impact on students’ education left us no choice but to intervene,” said Dr. John R. Kelly, chairman of the Board.
A state of emergency would allow the MBE to:
· Remove the superintendent and school board members
· Place a conservator in the district
· Request funds from the Legislative Emergency School Fund, and
· Address budget needsIf the governor agrees with the Board, officials from the Mississippi Department of Education plan to meet with the administration, faculty and staff of the Tunica County District early next week, followed by an evening meeting with parents and community leaders to communicate a plan of action to assist the district in meeting accreditation requirements.