Ocean Springs School District looking to cut costs

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The Ocean Springs School District is looking for ways to save money in anticipation of future funding cuts. Among the cost cutting steps: Closing the Elizabeth Keys Alternative Education Center and moving the operation to another building on the middle school campus.

"We are a system that is experiencing substantial student growth in the past five years," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonita Coleman-Potter. "However, state funding continues to be reduced each year and we have every reason to believe that it will be reduced again for the 2014-2015 school year. The result is that the OSSD must continue to implement operational reductions."

The district also plans to rebid all major procurement contracts to take advantage of current market pricing, and hire a commercial real estate appraiser to provide an independent opinion on the market value of district facilities not being used as schools, as well as the district's land holdings.

"OSSD is not immune to the financial challenges faced by other school systems, state and local government agencies at this time," said Coleman-Potter. "The Board of Education recognizes that schools are personal and close to the hearts of children and our parents. Our commitment to academic excellence continues to guide our work as we strive to be more efficient and implement this work in a structured and principled manner."

Coleman-Potter said she understands change is difficult, "but some changes must happen to continue to provide our students with the services they deserve and the financial responsibility that our taxpayers expect."

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