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Learning where you live

January 16, 2013

Despite the fact I live in the Santee community, five miles north of Bassfield, and I graduated from Bassfield High School, and my telephone extension is Bassfield 943… my address is Prentiss 39474.

However, when an out-of-towner tries to find my house via GPS, they better key in the address as Bassfield or else they will end up in Tupelo.

At Monday night’s monthly school board meeting, yet another couple came to obtain permission to send their child to school in another district besides Jeff Davis County. This month the preferred school was Sumrall.

The couple explained their household has a Sumrall address, yet they live less than a mile into Jeff Davis County. They shop in Sumrall as it is only five miles from their home, whereas Bassfield is 13 miles away.

The issue of where a child can go to school and what type of school they attend is a hot topic in the entire state of Mississippi. Discussion of charter schools and whether they are the right direction will be a focal point of the upcoming legislative session.

‘Money follows the child’ is the oft-quoted reason as to why it is necessary for students to receive instruction within their own county. If the child goes to Lamar County, Jeff Davis loses approximately $5,000 per school year, according to Board Attorney, Nathanial Armistad.

Superintendent Haynes invited the parents to come to Carver Elementary and meet teachers and administrators and see for themselves what the elementary school in Bassfield has to offer.

To hear parents do nothing short of beg to have their child attend their school of choice is heart-rending. The couple Monday was not the saddest story the Jeff Davis School Board has heard, there have been some real tear-jerkers, but the pain on the parents’ faces was evident when the Board decided unanimously to deny permission.