- Associated Press - Thursday, July 3, 2014

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - The Natchez-Adams School District is asking for an additional $811,855 to operate the schools system beginning this fall.

The Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1pLGhDM ) that the district currently receives $11.9 million in local support. The school board said it needs $12.7 million in local tax support for the next fiscal year, a 6.8 percent increase.

School board president Tim Blalock says the increase can be attributed to a decrease in funding from the state and changes earlier this year that included establishing three smaller learning communities for students: middle school academies, an early college model and a career academy.

The changes are structured around the idea of smaller classes and more personal teacher instruction.

Those changes also require repairs to school buildings, Blalock said.

The current Freshman Academy, which has been housed on the high school campus, will move to the Central Alternative School building. The students in the alternative school program will be housed in an annexed portion of Robert Lewis Magnet School

Once the district advertises the increase and hosts a public hearing, a resolution must be approved and sent to the Adams County Board of Supervisors.

County Administrator Joe Murray says how much property taxes might increase for the school district’s needs might be available next week.

The county cannot, by law, deny the request for additional money by the school board. Whether or not increasing the tax rate is required to generate the additional school funds or moved from elsewhere in the county budget is up to the board of supervisors.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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