HCCSD is in violation of 26 of the 32 required standards of MS public schools. 

Today the the Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) met and determined that an extreme emergency situation exists in the Holmes County Consolidated School District.

“State law requires the Board to intervene when conditions in a district reach a crisis level that jeopardizes the safety, security and educational interests of students,” said Rosemary Aultman, SBE chair. “Every student in the Holmes County Consolidated School District deserves a safe, secure and high-quality learning environment; therefore, the Board has carried out its responsibility.”

Yesterday the Commission on School Accreditation determined an emergency exists in the Holmes County Consolidated School District (HCCSD) that jeopardizes the safety, security, and educational interests of the children enrolled in the schools in the district.

The Holmes County Consolidated School District (HCCSD) is currently violating federal and state law and accreditation standards, concerns regarding financial resources, inappropriate standards of governance, and a continued pattern of poor academic performance.

HCCSD has significant issues that jeopardize the safety, security and educational interests of the children enrolled in its schools. The district is in violation of 26 of the 32 accreditation standards that all Mississippi public school districts are required to meet.

The violations are documented in the On-Site Investigative Audit of Holmes County Consolidated School District, which the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) conducted.

A state of emergency would make HCCSD a District of Transformation, which would result in the following:

  • The district’s accreditation could be withdrawn
  • The SBE would appoint an interim superintendent
  • The local school board would be temporarily disbanded
  • The SBE would become the governing body until the district is returned to local board leadership
  • An interim superintendent would remain in HCCSD until the district has sustained a grade of C or higher for five years.
  • An interim superintendent would work with district staff to correct all accreditation violations, while making raising student achievement the primary focus

If Governor Reeves agrees with the State Board of Education, officials from the MDE will meet with the administration, faculty and staff of HCCSD. They would also schedule evening meetings with parents and community leaders.

The SBE requested Gov. Reeves declare a state of emergency immediately. This request will expire after August 17, 2021.

UPDATE from Governor Tate Reeves today, August 5, 2021:  

Today, after a thorough review, I agreed with the actions taken by the Commission on School Accreditation and the recommendation by the State Board of Education and I declared a state of emergency within the Holmes County Consolidated School District. 

This isn’t a decision I take lightly nor one I make with any delight. Maintaining local control when possible is a foundational principle of conservative governance; however, the serious violations of state & federal law & accreditation standards, serious financial concerns, lack of internal controls, inappropriate standards of governance, inappropriate oversight by the Board, and the continued poor academic performance (among many other factors) no longer make that possible in the HCCSD.

Ensuring MS kids have access to a quality education will always be a top priority. This declaration of an extreme emergency situation within HCCSD will hopefully give the kids of this district a chance at success in life, because each one of them deserve nothing less!

May God bless all involved in the recovery efforts!