Gulfport, county leaders meet to discuss need for public meetings on school bond

Gulfport, county leaders meet to discuss need for public meetings on school bond

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport and Harrison County leaders met Monday afternoon with Harrison County Superintendent Roy Gill to discuss a perceived lack of information regarding the district’s effort to seek $55 million for new buildings and upgrades throughout the district.

While it provided some satisfaction, there may still be some deeper issues brewing.

You won’t find too many people disagreeing that the Harrison County School District needs to grow. But councilman R. Lee Flowers has a problem with the lack of details, particularly busing changes.

“When you look at the bond ballot information, everything’s not spelled out verbatim as part of Harrison County School District’s plan,” he said after the meeting.

The county school that services many in his ward is North Gulfport 7th and 8th grade.

He said the meeting explained some things, but not everything.

“I have a better understanding now, but I still don’t understand the intricacies of why this plan is what it is, and the constituents that I represent deserve to have their questions answered and addressed,” he said.

But he added he is satisfied at the effort with public meetings.

“That was my number 1 priority, and they’ve established those,” Flowers said. “So, now, my parents need to get out to those meetings. And if they don’t, then shame on them.”

Gill said the improvement plan actually reduces the amount of busing in the district.

“This district, being 465 square miles, this is the best plan that could be laid out,” he said. “We had a great meeting today. Discussed a great deal of things today, and I’m real pleased at the outcome.”

When Gulfport annexed part of the county in the 1990s, it was decided then that the school would remain under the authority of the county school district.

Now, Mayor Billy Hewes is suggesting it might be time for a change.

“They live in the city of Gulfport, but they also find themselves in the Harrison County School District,” he said. “And they don’t understand why and as to how they can become members of the Gulfport School District. So, the issue for us is how do we achieve that and accomplish that. It’s our belief that if they are residents of the city of Gulfport, they should be a part of the Gulfport Municipal School District.”

The bond issue will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The following is the scheduled public hearings on the proposed bond issue

  • Tuesday, Oct. 23: West Harrison High School, 5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 24: River Oaks Elementary, 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 29: Lyman Elementary School, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 1: D’Iberville High School, 6 p.m.

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