Elected school board bill advances out of Senate Education Committee

Published 12:04 am Thursday, January 31, 2019


JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to advance a bill that would create an elected school board for the Natchez-Adams School District.

Sen. Bob Dearing, D-Natchez, who authored the Senate bill, said the full committee of approximately 15 members voted to advance the measure for a full vote in the Senate.

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Dearing said he expects the measure will be placed on the Senate calendar today.

The deadline, however, for getting bills out of committee is Tuesday, Dearing said.

“It should be close to top of the calendar,” Dearing said, “and it could go up for vote Wednesday or Thursday. Then it would go to the House Education Committee.”

Dearing cautioned that a similar bill has come out of the Senate education committee for the past two legislative sessions but never made it through the House.

Dearing said he also spoke to Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, Tuesday about the measure.

“I had a meeting with speaker Gunn yesterday for about 10 minutes,” Dearing said. “I brought him up to date on how it came to pass and that the board of supervisors, and the mayor and board of aldermen had unanimously voted to approve it; that’s about 23,000 people, who would like to see the elected school board.”

Mississippi Rep. Sam Mims V, R-McComb, has introduced a similar bill in the House.

“I told Gunn, I don’t have pride of authorship,” Dearing said. “We just need to get something done.”

So, the House could either approve Mims’ bill or Dearing’s bill or a combination of both. If the House approves Mims’ bill it would have to go back to the Senate.

“If it (Dearing’s bill) makes it through the House, it would go to the governor,” Dearing said.