City school board expected to address consolidation bill

March 7, 2013 10:16:06 AM

Carl Smith - csmith@cdispatch.com

 

The Starkville School District Board of Trustees will have its first opportunity to comment on an ever-changing school consolidation bill at its 6 p.m. meeting today at the Greensboro Center. 

 

Thursday's meeting marks the school board's first public meeting since the Senate Education Committee gutted language in HB 716 and replaced it with wording creating a local committee charged with studying the effects of consolidation and how to do so efficiently. 

 

News of the bill's changes elicited mixed reactions from city and county stakeholders. Some were pleased to potentially have more input on a possible consolidation, while others said Senate changes still left the bill convoluted and vague. 

 

SSD Board of Trustees President Keith Coble said Tuesday he expects board members to deliver comments about the bill's progression in today's meeting. 

 

Coble is scheduled to take his oath of office for the school board position Thursday. Coble's seat was due for election this year, but he was the sole qualifier for the race. That seat is currently the only elected school board position, but Tuesday's Senate amendments state an expiring 2015 seat - held by Lee Brand - would require future elections. 

 

In other business, the school board could approve advertising for bids associated with Henderson-Ward Stewart cafeteria renovations. 

 

A cost estimate provided by local architectural firm Thomas Shelton Jones & Associates states $122,700 is needed to expand Rosa Stewart Cafeteria's size for additional food preparation and storage spaces. 

 

As of January, regular school board meetings are now held on the second Tuesday of each month. Additional meetings are scheduled toward the end of the month on an as-needed basis. 

 

School board members scheduled this meeting to fall ahead of the school system's spring break holiday.

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch