Commission votes to takeover Noxubee County School District

Commission votes to takeover Noxubee County School District
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State education officials are one step closer to taking over a school district in northeast Mississippi. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

The state Commission on School Accreditation voted unanimously yesterday to recommend the board of education declare an emergency in the Noxubee County school district.

Paula Vanderford is with the Mississippi Department of Education.

"The agency found the district to be non-compliant with 26 out of the 32 standards that were evaluated. The district did have serious violations of federal and state law accreditation standards, serious concerns regarding financial resources, a pattern of poor academic performance and inappropriate standards of governance," said Vanderford.

Vanderford says they began examining the district when Noxubee officials called to seek a loan, citing cash flow problems.

Superintendent Roger Liddell declined to comment after the commission made its decision but during his defense, he asked for more time and a loan in order to meet the standards.

"We really do need the help. We are transparent. It's not like we are trying to hide anything. We understand that we have financial challenges, but it stems back from 2013," said Liddell.

At another hearing today, the state Board of Education will consider the recommendation. If they accept it, Gov. Phil Bryant would have to decide wether to sign an emergency declaration taking over the district, dissolving the school board and removing Liddell.

Ashley Norwood, MPB News.