- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi legislators are advancing bills that would consolidate some school districts.

Two bills that passed the House on Friday are going back to the Senate for more work.

The House voted 88-24 for Senate Bill 2495 (http://bit.ly/1T9JSss ), to merge Montgomery County and Winona districts. Winona would effectively absorb Montgomery County’s schools. The House removed Carroll County schools from the original consolidation proposed by the Senate.

The House voted 81-34 for Senate Bill 2500 (http://bit.ly/1T9JLwZ ), to consolidate the Lumberton, Lamar County and Poplarville school districts.

The House changed the bill to say the three districts would have a July 2017 deadline to agree how to consolidate. Republican Rep. Toby Barker of Hattiesburg says local officials asked to handle the details, which would not have happened under the original proposal.

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