The Clarion-Ledger, 2/6/9

With a lingering recession and more than $85 million in education budget cuts, consolidating Mississippi’s 152 school districts could get another look.

House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, said he will form a task force to study the issue and make recommendations.

Consolidation is “something we’re going to look at,” possibly next session, he said.

Mississippi has five one-school districts, according to the state Department of Education Web site. Other counties have multiple school districts despite having relatively low student populations. For example, Bolivar County has six school districts. Its Cleveland school district had about 3,500 students during the 2007-08 school year, comparable in size to the districts in Clinton, Pearl and Canton. The number of students in the county’s other five districts range from about 300 to about 1,000.