Tippah County parents concerned about possible consolidation amid budget woes

WALNUT, Miss. -- Amy Caldwell-Moss' 10-year-old daughter has been going to Walnut Elementary since kindergarten. But now she's worried that in coming years, her daughter might have to take the bus to another school miles away.

"I'm very, very concerned. Very concerned," Caldwell-Moss said.

So are hundreds of other parents. They all showed up to a meeting at Walnut High School Monday night after some floated the idea of consolidating some of the district's schools by grade level in order to save money.

"We`re spending more than we are taking in," said Superintendent Bill Brand.

Brand points to a budget shortfall approaching $300,000 at least five years in a row.

Consolidation isn't the only option that's being looked at, which is why Brand said the district continues to have meetings like Monday's.

"That`s what these community meetings are all about is trying to find out what the community wants, what their thoughts are," Brand said.

Even once the district plugs the holes in the budget, there's still the literal holes Brand showed WREG in one classroom floor.

Upgrading the district's aging buildings will require additional money.

"We`ve got to make those changes. I do understand that, however, I do feel like there`s a better way," said Caldwell-Moss.