Textbook violations in Mississippi schools flagged by auditor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Textbook violations in Mississippi schools flagged by auditor

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The State Auditor says some Mississippi schools are breaking the law. It's because not all students have access to text books after school.

Books inside backpacks don't make it past school grounds in many districts across the state. And it's not because the kids don't want to take them home.

"They sent home letters. We're not able for all kids to have a textbook or whatever. So, we're going to have to make copies and it's not really helping the kids because they can't go and look inside the textbooks," said parent Sasha Brown.

Brown is worried her kids will fall behind without books for homework and State Auditor Stacy Pickering is raising a red flag on the issue.

"The state law is very clear when it comes to this issues that textbooks should be available to all students after instructional hours. Otherwise, that's how you do homework," said Pickering.

Pickering's office conducts audits of student information systems. They look at one-third of the districts each year. Last year, Pascagoula School District was the only one of the 47 audited that had a book for every subject that the students took home.

"If we expect our students to achieve and to learn, these are the kinds of things we should be inspecting if we're going to expect our kids to excel," explained Pickering.

Some districts have switched to electronic versions of textbooks. That's still in compliance with the law, as long as the kids have access to every book for every subject after school hours.

"There's a lot of issues and a lot of things that can cause children to fall behind. And I don't know that this is one silver bullet issue in and of itself but it is one tool," said Pickering.

Some districts are short on textbooks because they're short of funds. But Pickering hopes that administrators will use the audit findings as a new management tool.

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