Indianola School District
Isabel Lee was the school district's first African-American board member.
After the U.S. v. Indianola Municipal School District court case ruled in favor of the federal government on a Friday, the White townspeople almost immediately established Indianola Academy, with classes beginning on a Monday. Plans to establish a segregation academy had been in the running prior to the court case. Isabel Lee, then the sole African-American on the board, recalled that no White students showed up at Gentry High School on that Monday. By 1985, over 90% of the pupils and most of the teachers in the school district were African-American.
In 2009 the State of Mississippi took over the school district because it had insufficient funds, and was therefore unable to meet payroll. In February 2012 the Mississippi Senate voted 43-4 to pass Senate Bill 2330, to consolidate the Indianola School District, the Drew School District, and the Sunflower County School District into one school district. The bill went to the Mississippi House of Representatives. In May 2012 Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant signed the bill into law, requiring all three districts to consolidate. SB2330 stipulates that if a county has three school districts all under conservatorship by the Mississippi Department of Education will have them consolidated into one school district serving the entire county. For the 2012-2013 school year Indianola School District will remain a separate school district.
Zoned secondary schools:
- Gentry High School (10-12)
- Robert L. Merritt Junior High School (7-9)
Zoned primary schools:
- Carver Elementary School (3-6)
- Lockard Elementary School (K-2)
In the mid-2000s the schools (aside from Gentry) were Lockard Elementary School, Carver Lower Elementary School, Carver Upper Elementary School, Robert L. Merritt Middle School, and Pennington Jr. High School.
As of 1996 9 of 10 students in the Indianola School District are African-American. Most of the White students who attend Indianola public schools transfer to private schools by junior high school. In 2012 Sarah Carr of The Atlantic said "While there's some modest racial integration at Indianola's public elementary schools, by high school all but a few white students have departed."
2006-07 school year
There were a total of 2,589 students enrolled in the Indianola School District during the 2006-2007 school year. The gender makeup of the district was 49% female and 51% male. The racial makeup of the district was 95.21% African American, 3.59% White, 0.97% Hispanic, 0.23% Asian. 84.8% of the district's students were eligible to receive free lunch.
Previous school years
|School Year||Enrollment||Gender Makeup||Racial Makeup|
|District Accreditation Status||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited||Accredited|
|School Performance Classifications|
|Level 5 (Superior Performing) Schools||0||1||0||0||0|
|Level 4 (Exemplary) Schools||0||0||1||0||0|
|Level 3 (Successful) Schools||2||2||1||2||0|
|Level 2 (Under Performing) Schools||3||2||2||3||4|
|Level 1 (Low Performing) Schools||0||0||1||0||0|
- Moye, J. Todd. Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986. UNC Press Books, 2004. 180. Retrieved from Google Books on March 2, 2011. ISBN 0-8078-5561-8, ISBN 978-0-8078-5561-4.
- Moye, J. Todd. Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Movements in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986. UNC Press Books, 2004. 179. Retrieved from Google Books on March 2, 2011. ISBN 0-8078-5561-8, ISBN 978-0-8078-5561-4.
- Wright, Chance. "Senate passes school merger." Bolivar Commercial. February 2012. Retrieved on March 25, 2012.
- Wright, Chance. "Bryant signs school merger." The Bolivar Commercial. Retrieved on June 13, 2012.
- Doyle, Rory. "Drew, Ruleville prepare to merge." Bolivar Commercial. Retrieved on August 30, 2012.
- "Schools." Indianola School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
- "Home." Indianola School District. Retrieved on August 17, 2010.
- Sanchez, Rene. "Academies Are Final Bastions Of Separateness Series: IN SEARCH OF THE SOUTH; SURVIVORS OF THE SIXTIES Series Number: 4/6." The Washington Post. July 17, 1996. A01. Retrieved on August 17, 2010. "There are five public schools. Nearly nine of 10 students enrolled in them are black. And the small number of whites who do send their children to public schools usually switch to the academy once they reach junior high."
- Carr, Sarah. "In Southern Towns, 'Segregation Academies' Are Still Going Strong." The Atlantic. December 13, 2012. Retrieved on March 29, 2013.
- "Mississippi Assessment and Accountability Reporting System". Office of Research and Statistics, Mississippi Department of Education.
- "2006-07 State, District, and School Enrollment by Race/Gender with Poverty Data" (XLS). Mississippi Department of Education. 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
- "Mississippi Report Card for 2002-2003". Office of Educational Accountability, Mississippi Department of Education. 2004-09-02. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- "2007 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- "2006 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- "2005 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2005-09-09. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- "2004 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2004-09-26. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
- "2003 Results" (PDF). Mississippi Statewide Accountability System. Mississippi Department of Education. 2003-11-21. Retrieved 2007-06-07.