OKOLONA, Miss. (WTVA) -- The Okolona School District is walking a thin financial line.
Financial leaders announced Monday the district is currently in the black $263,072. While that sounds like good news, school district leaders said outstanding debt owed to the state could change that.
"No one seems to be able to tell us what particular area of the budget really caused the problem three years ago," said board president Dr. Jerome Smith.
The district owes $865,000 to the state. That includes $550,000 the state paid to keep the district from going under during the state takeover plus more than $315,000 for the salary of the conservator.
"Those payments have been deferred at this point, but at some point, we are going to have to start making those payments. If we begin making those payments, we are not sure our budget will be able to stand those withdrawals," said Smith.
Parents said they are not satisfied with the financial explanation from the district.
"We owe too much money, and we don't know where it's going," said Lois Taylor, grandmother.
"Where did all the money go?" said Wanda Overstreet, parent.
Then there is the question of the elementary school that's falling apart. It will cost roughly $5 million to renovate or about $1 million to close it and renovate just the first floor for administrative offices, or leaders could just relocate the academic programs to other schools and maintain a cafeteria at no cost.
"Those are decisions the board members will have to make before the end of the school year," said Mac Curlee, the district's conservator.
Leaders will tour all the schools in the district next week.