- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Four more pairs of school districts could face mergers under bills passed Tuesday by Mississippi legislative committees.

The Senate Education Committee passed three separate measures combining school districts in Greenwood and Leflore County, Winona and Montgomery County and Claiborne and Jefferson counties.

The House Education Committee voted to merge the Durant and Holmes County districts.

Leflore and Claiborne have been in the spotlight after they were taken over by the state for poor academic performance and breaking state rules. Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican, argues consolidation will produce more efficient districts.

The Senate bills would require districts to combine in July 2015. The House bill would merge Durant and Holmes County in 2016.

The House is also considering a bill to consolidate Clarksdale and Coahoma County.

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