Barbour names consolidation commission

The Commission on Mississippi Education Structure also will look at possible cost savings and recommend standards and priorities the state Board of Education would use to choose districts for consolidation.

Barbour’s budget recommendations, announced in November, include reducing the number of districts in the state to 100.

Then, Barbour estimated that consolidating districts could save the state about $65 million in fiscal 2012.

But legislators craft the budget, and the legislative session begins next month.

The Legislature would have to give the Board of Education the authority to consolidate districts, said House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, who is a member of the commission.