JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The State Board of Education has entered two failing school districts into the newly created Mississippi Achievement School District.
Five poorly performing schools systems were discussed, but the charter system will start with Delta districts that have been struggling for years.
State Department of Education Board members voted Thursday to make the Humphreys County and the Yazoo City Municipal School districts the first in the new district.
The system is aimed at transforming persistently failing school districts.
Humphreys County and Yazoo City Schools met all three requirements for inclusion. Both have been classified as "F" schools for two consecutive school years, having 50 percent or more of students in failing schools and having 50 percent or more of students enrolled in an "F" rated school.
“We want to work within the communities and ensure that this isn’t seen as an over the top heavy handed approach to solve their education challenges,” said State Board of Education Chair Dr. Jason Dean. "But let’s be realistic, this is not the first day that they’ve heard that there are significant challenges in the school district. They’ve been a "F" school district for three years."
Amite and Jefferson counties and the Clarksdale School District were also discussed but not selected.
Board member Charles McCleland opposed the creation of the Achievement School District and was the lone vote in opposition.
“We should not be separating the haves from the have nots,” said McCLeland. “I just feel that we as educators can figure out what we need to do with what we have on the table."
Board members also announced the selection of Dr. Jermall Wright as superintendent of the new school district.
He begins June 1, which is also the official start date of the Achievement School District.
Wright is currently chief academic officer with Birmingham City Schools.