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Meridian schools seek city funding for program to help drop-outs

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MERIDIAN, Mississippi — Public school officials in Meridian are asking the City Council for $15,000 to help pay for a program for students who have been expelled or dropped out of school.

The Meridian Star reported (http://bit.ly/1nRdw2N) Assistant Superintendent Amy Carter asked the council for the money to help pay for security at the program site.

"Typically, when a student is expelled, they are expelled for something like having drugs on them, a weapon, or they have committed some violent act," Carter said.

Carter said the district launched the Making a Change program in 2012 to help students with education needs and counseling.

The district partners with Weems Community Mental Health, Men for Change, LOVE's Kitchen, NFusion X and Meridian Community College.

In a letter seeking city support, Carter said the program is held during school hours and is targeted to students at risk of incarceration or of dropping out of school.

She said the program provides academic, behavioral and work-related skills and help them make a successful transition back to school or into the work place.

Carter said that more than 60 percent of students in the program have successfully transitioned back to school, though two were expelled a second time after returning to the district.

The school district's budget for 2014-2015 is $60.5 million but Carter said no money is available for security for the program.

The council is considering the district's request.


Information from: The Meridian Star, http://www.meridianstar.com

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