Tate County schools struggle with money issues - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tate County schools struggle with money issues

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

TATE COUNTY, MS (WMC-TV) - A funding fight is brewing in Tate County, Mississippi, as the schools there run out of money and the state prepares to take over.  Dwindling finances have caused the state to take drastic measures to insure schools continue to function. 

It is the front page headline in the local newspaper in Tate County, where things have gotten so bad that the Superintendent of Education has asked the state for help.

"Basically, what has to happen is a state of emergency has to be declared by the Governor, that has been done by the State board of education," said Gary Walker, Superintendent of Tate County Schools.

Because the district could not reach its operating budget, a conservator will step in to help stabilize finances. This will include consolidation of Coldwater High School into a K-12 facility.

"This will help us with ancillary services - principals and so forth," Walker said. "We'll be able to do some consolidation and save funding through coordinating of services that way."

This is a move that would save the district approximately $700,000 dollars. Walker says the problems are due in part to lagging tax revenues due to the faltering economy.
   
He says the concern is understandable, but has one central message for everyone.

"It did catch us in the middle of the year and that was unfortunate, but our message to parents and students is let's focus on education," he said.

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