Consolidation: Political obstacles high

Barbour had said reducing the state’s 152 school districts to 100 would improve educational quality and save money.

Indeed, there was a suggestion that the Legislature require the consolidation of personnel, purchasing, transportation and food services for districts within a county.

But the governor’s Commission on Educational Structure stopped short of recommending mandatory consolidations for other than the worst performing schools.

A commission consultant had identified 18 Mississippi school districts as possible targets for consolidation.

The 18 districts that consultants identified for possible consolidation with other districts were: Aberdeen, Benoit, Coahoma County, Coffeeville, Drew, East Jasper, Hazlehurst, Hollandale, Indianola, Jefferson Davis County, Kemper County, Montgomery County, North Panola, Okolona, Oktibbeha County, Quitman, Shaw and West Tallahatchie.