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School consolidation discussed at public hearing

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Updated: 11/08/2013 12:36 am
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — Parents of students who attend Oktibbeha County schools had the opportunity Thursday night to provide feedback to a commission working on a plan to consolidate those schools with the Starkville schools. 

"I would just like to see it work smoothly and everybody work together and come together and get it achieved," said Stephen Carr, parent.

A basic framework of the most recent proposal for how the schools will be consolidated are as follows: Students at East and West Oktibbeha County High Schools would attend Starkville High School. The elementary schools would see no change, and students in grades 7 and 8 would attend Armstrong Middle School in Starkville.

"The indications are there is a lot of support for the structure that we have in place," adds Rex Buffington, commission member. "It's been a process that has been going on for several months now."

There may be concerns about children coming from a small high school to a big one like Starkville, but some say the move would open up students to more opportunities.

"Basically, we're looking at programs that would be advantageous for students so that they would all have a better chance for a better education," said Larry Drawdy, deputy state superintendent for school oversight and recovery.

School leaders and elected officials say they want what's best for the students.

"Things seem to be falling in place with people seeming to be excited about it, and we want to keep that momentum going so that we can continue to do what's good for all the children here in Oktibbeha County," said county Supervisor Orlando Trainer.

There is a work session scheduled for Friday at 8 a.m. That's when officials will work on a format and a written report for the Legislature.

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