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School Takeovers Likely for Yazoo City, Claiborne, LeFlore

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Chris Davis

JACKSON, Miss.–After an impassioned plea with religious overtones by Claiborne County Superintendent Elijah Brown, the state’s commission on school accreditation voted to recommend a takeover of the district, The same thing happened a short time later for the Yazoo City and LeFlore County schools.

“I’m praying each and every day that we don’t go into captivity,” said Brown to the commission, telling them the district had turned things around.

That commission sent a message that it was too little, too late, and the same applied to Yazoo City when Superintendent Dr. Arthur Cartlidge made his case.

“Turning around a failing district is hard, but we’re doing it,” said Cartlidge, the schools in his charge having consistently showed extremely poor state test scores, discipline problems and a consistently high drop-out rates.

If a take over by the state happens, the superintendents and the school boards would effectively get the boot, replaced by appointed conservators, who will run the districts until they are brought up to standard.

The next step in the process is for a vote Thursday by the state Board of Education. If they vote yes, Gov. Bryant would have to sign off on the state takeover, and he’s not hesitated to do it before. Seven districts are under state control right now.

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