LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. - The Lumberton school district is moving forward with its consolidation plans this upcoming Fall of 2016.
School officials held its first meeting Tuesday at William Carey University to start planning the futures of Lumberton, Poplarville, and Lamar county school districts.
The consolidation comes after the Senate Bill that was signed into law requiring the districts to consolidate by July of 2019.
SB 2500 states:
"AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS OF THE LUMBERTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT, LAMAR COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND POPLARVILLE SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT NOT LATER THAN JULY 1, 2019, TO ABOLISH AND DISSOLVE THE LUMBERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT AND ITS CENTRAL ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, EFFECTIVE AT THE START OF THE 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR; TO ESTABLISH A COMMISSION ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONSOLIDATION OF LUMBERTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT TO SUBMIT ITS PLAN OF ABOLITION AND DISSOLUTION TO THE LEGISLATURE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 1, 2017; TO PROVIDE THAT THE TERRITORY OF THE LUMBERTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCATED IN LAMAR COUNTY SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE LAMAR COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE TERRITORY OF THE LUMBERTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT LOCATED IN PEARL RIVER COUNTY SHALL BE TRANSFERRED TO THE POPLARVILLE SEPARATE SCHOOL DISTRICT; TO PROVIDE THAT STUDENTS ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOLS OF THE FORMER LUMBERTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY BE GRANTED AN AUTOMATIC TRANSFER BY THE LAMAR COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION OR THE POPLARVILLE SCHOOL BOARD, AS DETERMINED BY THE RESIDENCE OF THE STUDENT, TO CONTINUE TO ATTEND THE SCHOOLS LOCATED IN THE FORMER LUMBERTON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT; TO AMEND SECTION 37-7-103, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES."
Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith said, "This is not something any superintendent would go out and look for most definitely, we hate that Lumberton has to go through this."
The Commission on the Administrative Consolidation of Lumberton School District meeting discussed about a number of items regarding the split. School officials addressed concerns, challenges, and tried to find a common ground.
Lumberton students will split between the Lamar county and Poplarville school district mentioned Smith.
Smith said, "We are all trying to make best of the situation and by focusing our best on the students."
The Lamar county school district will receive 400 new students from Lumberton.