Election to be scheduled on Oktibbeha school bond issue

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton said his office has verified enough petition signatures to force an election on proposed $13.2 million local school bond issue.

The Commercial Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1EPJqG6 ) the school system's conservator is not expected to take action until next week when the school board meets Monday.

Almost 1,900 signatures from qualified voters were verified during certification efforts this week. Hamilton says only signatures from registered voters who live in the county were counted.

Hamilton says 1,500 names were needed to call the election.

A school bond referendum would require approval of 60 percent of those voting.

The school district is planning for a new campus for grades 6-7 and a pre-kindergarten program in a partnership with Mississippi State University.

The state placed the county school district under conservatorship in September 2012, primarily due to low student academic achievement, and removed the superintendent and the board. Margie Pulley was named conservator in January 2013.

The state has since ordered Oktibbeha schools to consolidate with the Starkville School District by July 2015.

MSU previously announced it would donate $5 million and almost 43 acres of land for the new school. Even with that donation, the plan still requires $10 million from local sources and $10 million from the Legislature.

The remainder of the local bond issue would go toward the purchase of technology — laptops and SMARTboards for teachers and students primarily within the former county district — and buses to improve the consolidated district's internal infrastructure.


Information from: The Commercial Dispatch, http://www.cdispatch.com

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