School superintendent reacts to governor's merger proposal

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said there are about 7,000 students in the Pascagoula School District.  He said that's a comfortable number that allows his staff to cater to students both in and outside the classroom.

"We have administrative team members, including myself, who make home visits right now for children who are falling behind," Rodolfich said.

Governor Barbour is proposing consolidating one-third of the state's public schools to save millions of dollars. Rodolfich said the cost cutting plan will most likely compromise his special programs and reduce the quality of education.

"On a larger scale, you have one person responsible for all these areas, all these different districts; it diminishes the quality of service you can provide."

Rodolfich said before lawmakers make any more cuts to education, or go forward with a consolidation plan, educators from across the state should be brought to the table so their voices can be heard.

"Include us into the decision making process."

State Representative Brandon Jones agrees and welcomes educators' input about this proposed merger, which could impact young people.

"If we save a lot of money and at the end of the day we don't have young people who have learned the basics, who aren't prepared to be professionals in their field, then we really have not accomplished anything," Turner said.

The head of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, Sam Bounds, said school consolidation should be a local decision.  He said research shows that cost-savings are minimal through consolidation.  Bounds also said state funding still follows the students no matter where they're located.

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