The State Board of Education on Friday will decide whether to turn the Aberdeen School District back over to the local community.

Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency in the school district in April of 2012 due to serious leadership, management and instructional concerns, along with serious violations of accreditation standards, board policy and state laws.

The board will vote whether to approve a resolution to request that Bryant lift the state of emergency.

“In June of 2016, five individuals were appointed to form the new Board of the Aberdeen School District and they have worked with the Conservator during the past year to prepare them for assuming full responsibility of the district,” Board Chair Rosemary Aultman wrote in a draft letter to Bryant asking him to lift the state of emergency. “The board members have since drawn lots … and each will assume their respective terms of office on July 1, 2017.”

Aberdeen received an accountability rating of C in the 2015-2016 school year, the most recent year for which data is available.

Leflore Co. and Tunica Co. school districts are the only other districts under conservatorship statewide.


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Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.