- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

FOREST, Miss. (AP) - The attorney for the Scott County schools is asking the governor to put new school board elections on hold until new district lines are drawn.

School board attorney Noble Lee says the current lines that separate the district into five zones do not meet federal standards according to population rates based on the most recent census.

“I feel that if we proceed with the election, the school district would be open to litigation for imbalance,” Lee told The Scott County Times (https://bit.ly/1u1d3CC ).

“I will recommend to the governor that the election for the school board be placed on hold until the lines are corrected. It is up to the governor, but that will be our recommendation,” he said.

Gov. Phil Bryant set the special election for Jan. 6.

On Oct. 2, Bryant officially lifted the state of emergency declaration issued earlier this year allowing the state to take control of the district.

The special election is one of the steps toward returning control the school district back to local officials.

When the election is held, board members will be elected to staggered terms.

None of the immediate past board members is eligible to run. The immediate past superintendent is also ineligible to return. Upon election, the new school board will appoint a new superintendent. The superintendent position will be appointed from now on, removing it from the slate of elected positions.

Marc Boyles, who has served as conservator for the school district since July 1, is expected to remain on an interim basis to assist with the transition.

“It’s possible that we may take a little longer to have a new board in place, but we still feel that the new board could get a new superintendent in place by July 1 if everything works out,” Boyles said.

Until then, Boyles said the schools will continue to operate as they have since the state took control.

“We will function like a regular school district working with the conservator,” Boyles said.

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Information from: The Scott County Times, https://sctonline.net

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