State expected to take over Hazlehurst schools

The Mississippi Board of Education decided Friday morning that the state should take over management of the Hazlehurst City School District.

The state board determined that “an extreme situation exists in the Hazlehurst City School District which jeopardizes the safety, security, and educational interests of the children enrolled in the schools in the District and that this emergency situation is related to serious leadership, management, and instructional concerns existing in this District.”

The state board requested the Governor to declare a state of emergency in the Hazlehurst City School District and approve the appointment of an interim conservator.

The Commission on School Accreditation met Thursday to lower the district’s accreditation status from Advised to Probation. State officials report the district currently meets only two of 37 accreditation standards.

The state has already appointed a financial advisor for Hazlehurst, who reported that the district faces a budget deficit of about $750,000 by the end of the fiscal year.

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