Supporters of the Mississippi School of the Arts on Friday killed a bill that proposed moving the program out of Brookhaven and sending it 200 miles north to Columbus, where it would have been combined with the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science.
There were 43 votes for House Bill 1555 and 73 against it.
Budget writers who proposed the move said it would make financial sense for the state to combine its two residential public schools that serve some of the state’s brightest students. They also said students would benefit because they could take arts and science courses from some of the region’s best teachers.
Rep. David Myers, D-McComb, said the arts school is a “beacon of hope” for southwest Mississippi.
“We don’t have much. And this school – we’re proud of it,” Myers said.