Other Voices | Lana Noonan: Supervisors Made Right Decision on Funding for Consolidation Study

I would like to commend the Hancock County Board of Supervisors and County Administrator for deciding against including $15,000 in their current budget for a study to determine the feasibility of an Administrative consolidation of the two school districts in our county–Bay St. Louis-Waveland and the Hancock County District, not because I am against the concept of an Administrative Consolidation of our school districts. I have been on board with the idea for a long time, especially after reading many reports, comparing Mississippi with other states regarding top heavy administrative salaries, low teacher pay, and comparing us to other states with regard to financing education and academic performance. Just this past year Mississippi made the national news for our elected officials’ high dollar spending of school taxes at the administrative level and our poor academic performance.

But, to expect our County officials to carry the ball financially for this study, in my opinion, sends the wrong message to the State Department of Education, where the final decision will be made. If and when an administrative consolidation becomes a reality in Hancock County, It should be a joint effort, financially and otherwise, of every entity in the county, because EVERY entity will be impacted by this decision—the 3 cities, 2 school districts, and at the county level as well. Children, teachers, and taxpayers in all of these entities will be affected by this decision, and, in my opinion, if it succeeds, all will benefit from it if it

So, let’s divide the cost of this study by six–3 cities, 2 school districts, and the county. I believe the State Department of Education would take a closer at what would be a county-wide effort to seek lasting improvements in education for our children, their teachers, and the county as a whole.

When the effort to promote consolidation is itself consolidated, the chances for success can only improve.

Lana Noonan