Sue Honea | Message from the Prez | MageeNews.com

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Whether we like it or not, consolidation is coming to Simpson County.  The Simpson County School Board made the decision to consolidate Magee and Mendenhall High School.

No, we as citizens did not vote…we were not given an option.  The decision is final.

I understand why people are upset.  I always like to give my opinion.  But, we are wasting our energy hooping and hollering about something we cannot change; therefore, we need to figure out what is the best in funding the consolidation.

Voting on the bond issue will happen in March.

I had been strongly against the bond issue…mainly because I was mad we were not told where the school will be built.

Once I accepted consolidation, I started asking questions and listening to what the school board and others had to say about the bond issue.

This is what I learned.  By passing the bond issue, we will save taxes in the long run.  The School board will increase our millage rate every year if the bond is not passed. The millage increase NEVER goes away.  The bond will end in a set number of years.  (We don’t know the length of the bond at this time—we haven’t been told!)

If the bond issue passes, we will have a state of the art school including excellent athletic facilities.  If we don’t pass the bond, we will probably be playing football at Mendenhall’s football field.  Baseball and softball will most likely be played at the Sportsplex in Magee.  Who knows about soccer and track. I have no idea where anyone will practice.   Now, I am not all about athletics, but I realize the importance of school spirit.  We will have a Fine Arts department and more…but I want the full meal deal.

I am not happy the site of the school has not been made public.  TELL US!!!I assume the board has reasons they cannot release this information.  But, honestly, give us a break!  We had no choice with consolidation—let us in on your secrets.

 As for me, I’m voting for the bond issue.  I hope everyone will look at the whole picture—not just the fact we are mad about a decision in which we had no control.  

Explain the situation to your family and friends.  I think so many people feel the vote is to consolidate or not—that is just not true !

Information from Dr. Holloway:  Simpson County Superintendent of Education

What is a bond? In the same way homeowners borrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home, school districts borrow money in the form of bonds to finance the design, construction, expansion and renovations of schools. This method of financing is school districts’ most economical option for taxpayers.

How can bonds be used? Proceeds from a bond issue can be used to pay for new buildings; additions and renovations to existing facilities; land acquisition; technology equipment; and infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings.

What amount of bonds will the school district issue? The school district will issue up to $39 million in bonds.

Why does Simpson County School District need a bond issue? SCSD is pursuing a bond issue to provide our students with a comprehensive, state-of-the-art consolidated high school, in addition to onsite athletic facilities that will be funded by the district.

What will students receive if the bond issue passes? If the bond issue passes, students will attend a state-of-the-art consolidated high school with advanced academic offerings; the most current educational technology available; and athletic facilities to include: a baseball field, football field, softball field, tennis courts, track and field complex, and two practice fields. There may also be potential for a performing arts center.

What will the district do if the bond issue fails? If the bond issue fails, SCSD will build a consolidated high school without athletic facilities. Students will continue to use athletic facilities housed at Mendenhall and Magee high schools.

What is the reasoning for consolidating Magee High School and Mendenhall High School? The decision to consolidate Magee and Mendenhall high schools was based on an ongoing facility study that was conducted three years ago and the district’s desire to offer students a broader range of courses. The construction of a consolidated high school will allow the district to provide our students with academic, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities that cannot be offered in our current make up, such as career academies, arts (i.e., choir, theatre, advanced art classes), and advanced placement courses.

What will happen with the current high school buildings, if a new consolidated high school is to be built? The Magee High School and Mendenhall High School buildings will be repurposed for students attending Magee Middle School and Mendenhall Junior High School. This consolidation will allow the district to provide upgraded facilities – with upgraded educational opportunities to match – for all students at every grade level.

What must the district do in order to issue bonds? The bonds must be approved by at least 60 percent of registered voters voting in a bond election called by the school district. The school district will call for a bond election in March 2022.

How is the district funding additional needs beyond the bond issue? The district is using federal COVID-relief funds to make improvements to existing schools, to include Simpson Central School, Mendenhall High School and Mendenhall Elementary School.

Will my taxes go up if I’m over 65? Homeowners who are over 65, or disabled, are exempt from taxes on the value of their house up to $75,000.

 

 

MageeNews.com is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Sue

    I am a 1974 graduate of Magee High School. Let me get that out of the way.

    How are the students of Magee and Mendenhall performing scholastically using the current curriculum? Secondly since the pandemic many of our schools are teaching currently online or have been or will be in the future. This survey was completed prior to this unfortunate event. Should the school board consider this in their plans

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