A recent audit of Pine Belts schools revealed some surprising results. Many area schools did not provide textbooks for their students to take home and were found to be in violation of the law. Section 37-43-1 of the code states that, "Teachers shall permit all pupils in all grades of any public school to carry to their homes for home study, the free textbooks loaned to them."
Unfortunately, many schools provided books for classroom use but students did not receive textbooks to take home with them. In many schools, less than half of the students were assigned textbooks for home use.
"Here's what we are doing as we respond to the state auditor: we are going to make sure that our students have access to textbooks as needed," responded Dr. James Bacchus, superintendent of Hattiesburg public schools.
The Jefferson Davis County school district has already ordered over $22,000 in new books for the upcoming school year. Hopefully, other schools will do the same in order to solve this serious problem.