OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Schools across Mississippi are feeling the squeeze from budget cuts. The Ocean Springs School District is no different.
School district officials have been analyzing the budget to find out where they can make some cuts. They have also been looking at what other school districts have done to save money.
One plan on the table could save the district $20,000 a year, and it's a page out of the Oxford School District playbook.
School district leaders have decided to use a contractor to hire nurses instead of employing their own.
Under the current setup, each Ocean Springs school has a registered nurse on campus. That plan costs the school district $355,000 in salaries and benefits every year.
We reported Monday that the school district planned on having just one nurse practitioner and one registered nurse in its central office and a licensed practical nurse on every campus.
After hearing from concerned parents, the school district came up with the outside contractor plan.
Unfortunately, the current nurses most likely won't be able to fill those positions, because they PERS retirement through the state. Under the contractor, they won't have PERS retirement.
"This is what happens when you force schools to be run like a business," said Grant Dickerson, head of student affairs.
Officials tell us the school district will contract RNs and LPNs through the Medical Analysis firm. Singing River Health System will assist in finding the nurses as a partnership.
Also, the school district plans on having a district physician, a district nurse practitioner plus an undisclosed number of LPNs to serve the schools.
The school board will discuss this issue further at its meeting next week.