Parents living in Biloxi & Gulfport show support for Harrison County school bond

Updated: Oct. 15, 2018 at 9:49 PM CDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday, the Biloxi City Council will be asked to approve a resolution opposing the Harrison County school bond referendum. Gulfport could take up a similar measure requesting a delayed vote.

The boundaries of the Harrison County School District include parts of Biloxi and Gulfport. Elizabeth Smith lives in Gulfport, but her three children don't go to Gulfport city schools.

“I may live in Gulfport, but I chose Harrison County due to the teacher to student ratio,” said Smith. “It’s a little lower in the county schools; therefore, my children are getting the attention they deserve.”

While overcrowding may not be an issue now for Smith’s children, the areas north of I-10 are becoming more populated, and Biloxi resident Savannah Fountain, who has two children at D’Iberville Elementary, said to keep up with the growth something needs to be done.

“We need expansion and newer schools,” said Fountain. “D’Iberville Elementary is old, and we need to upgrade and update.”

Mayors from both Biloxi and Gulfport have expressed interest in giving all students living in their cities and in the Harrison County School District the opportunity to attend city schools, but Smith doesn’t believe it’s necessary to rethink district lines.

“I’m originally from Northern Indiana, and I technically lived in the city. But, I went to county schools just by the way the line drew,” Smith said. “Technically, Woolmarket is its own little town. I understand Biloxi took it over, but it’s still its own little town, and you’re still in the county.”

If the $55 million bond passes on November 6, two new schools and upgrades to others will come shortly after.

“The bond to me is a plus, especially if I’m not being penalized for it. My taxes aren’t going up,” said Smith.

The Harrison County School District is holding four public meetings leading up to the bond vote for residents to learn more.

The meeting schedule:

  • Tuesday, October 23, 2018:  West Harrison High School — 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2018:  River Oaks Elementary — 5:30 pm
  • Monday, October 29, 2018:  Lyman Elementary School — 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, November 1, 2018:  D’Iberville High School — 6:00 pm

For more information on the school bond referendum, visit here.

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