New law changes process for selecting Moss Point School Board

New law changes process for selecting Moss Point School Board
(Photo Source: WLOX News)

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - A new bill signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant has a big impact on the Moss Point School District.

The new law changes how the Moss Point school board is selected. Members will no longer be appointed, but instead elected by the public.

"You take the school board out of the hands of one or two and move it to the many," Rep. Jeramey Anderson said.

Three years in the making, Anderson spearheaded the change that will divide the city into five voting districts, one for each board seat. The school district has struggled over the years with a D rating, and threats for it to be turned over to the state.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again, and expecting different outcomes. And that's the way we have to look at it, we are now at a pivotal point, we have to try something," Anderson said.

But, some residents aren't too pleased with the new legislation because they say Anderson never got community input.

"I think the bill was slap and assault to the integrity of Moss Point because the elected school board is not what the people was interested in," said resident Mitch Ellerby.

Anderson says he's partnered with PPS for a town hall on the new law prior to it going into affect.

"My job at this point is to show the community why this is a positive thing, and how we can use this to go forward," Anderson said.

Despite concerns, the bill's reception is not entirely negative.

"I think it's a very good idea, holding people accountable, getting the community involved," said resident Donna Rogers.

The bill will go into effect July 1, and the first round of elections for districts 1, 3, and 5 will be in November. The qualifications to be selected for a school board position will not change with the new election process.

Moss point has 45 days to draw district lines once the bill becomes effective.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.