FLORA, Miss. (WLBT) – Will the lack of funding lead to the closure of a Madison County middle school?
It's something school board members are considering, but Flora parents and city leaders hope it doesn't happen.
They met Tuesday night to talk about their options.
Flora's mayor and Board of Aldermen gathered at city hall, one day after Madison County School Board members discussed closing East Flora Middle School to save money.
Approximately 147 students are enrolled at the middle school with about 15 teachers on staff.
Parents and city leaders object to the plan.
They said they lost their high school in 1991 and don't want their children bused the 12 miles to school in Madison.
"Seems like everything is trying to move to Madison. It's gonna hurt our businesses. It's gonna hurt a lot of families. A lot of tradition is over there at that school. We just want to try to pull together if at all possible to try to do something about this," said Rodrick Spencer, the parent of a sixth grader at the school.
"Without school there is no growth. We want our school in Flora. We're trying to save it, and if its anything that the flora community can do to save our school hopefully we will do it," said concerned parent Tiffany Valentine.
Flora Mayor Leslie Childress said shutting down the school would place a hardship on the town and patrons in the surrounding area.
"We need our middle school here. Our community needs it and what we're trying to do we're looking at all the options working with the school board and the problem is the funding through the legislature. Budgets are tight," said Mayor Childress.
According to Madison County School Superintendent Mike Kent, twice as much money is spent on students at Flora Middle School than others in the district.
He said the middle school is under performing and listed as 'at risk of failing' by state accreditation ratings.
"The school has only 147 students with expenditures per student of $14,000.00. The average per pupil expenditure is $7,700.00. It costs about $1 million dollars annually to operate," said Kent.
The East Flora PTA is encouraging parents to rally and fight the closure.
The mayor told residents attending the Board of Aldermen meeting that a letter will be sent to the legislature requesting help with the budget.
Despite the request, Childress said current projections indicate a 10% decrease from last year's funding.
The Madison County School Board will hold a public hearing on the possible closure during their February 7th regular meeting.
The East Flora Middle School PTA will meet Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the school gym.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:50:22 GMT
MOORE, OK (RNN) – In one of the few positive stories to come from the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, an elderly woman was reunited with a four-legged friend she thought was dead. Barbara Garcia, a residentMore >>
Elderly resident Barbara Garcia frantically called for her dog after the tornado had leveled her house, but with no success.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:16 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:16:08 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:10:13 GMT
The Ridgeland Police Department is searching for two suspects, both accused of stealing a cell phone, and is asking for the public's help identifying the men.According to Detective Don Martin, the firstMore >>
The Ridgeland Police Department is searching for two suspects, both accused of stealing a cell phone, and is asking for the public's help identifying the men.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201