Sunday, March 18, 2012

We report, you decide: A tale of two audits.

A review of the 2009 audits between the school districts of Desoto County and the city of Jackson reveals some interesting differences. The two districts approximately the same size as there is only a difference of 212 students. The 2009 audits were used because that is the last time JPS submitted an audited financial statement.

JPS receives $35,720,918 more in total general revenue than DeSoto County schools. It receives over $13 million more in federal grants for special education than Desoto. JPS enjoys a nice advantage in property taxes- a difference of $15,075,567. However, the Jackson Public School District also spends more money than the Desoto County School District: $56,092,382. You read that right. JPS received $35,720,918 in revenue than Desoto BUT spent $56,092,382 more than its northern counterpart.

JPS audit
Desoto Audit

Quick facts:
Desoto: 61% white, 32% black, 6% hispanic, 36% at poverty level
JPS: 98% black, 2% white, 82% at poverty level

Number of Students
Desoto (p.54): 30,411
JPS (p.59): 30,199
Difference: 212

Cost per student
Desoto: $8,996
JPS: $9,848
Difference: $852

Instructional Cost per Student
Desoto: $4,375
JPS: $5,475
Difference: $1,100

Total Assets
Desoto: $431,250,366
JPS: $271,905,280

Long-term debt
Desoto: $214,577,384
JPS: $226,831,005

Current Liabilities
Desoto: $10,828,242
JPS: $19,503,471

Total General Revenue:
Desoto: $239,146,390
JPS: $274,867,308
Difference: $35,720,918

Total revenue from Property Taxes (Included in above general revenue)
Desoto: $70,911,063
JPS: $85,986,630
Difference: $15,075,567

Expenses on Instruction
Desoto: $111,739,759
JPS: $147,618,829
Difference: $35,879,070

Expenses spent on Support Services:
Desoto: $90,036,135
JPS: $102,604,317
Difference: $12,568,142

Total Expenses
Desoto: $221,746,554
JPS: $277,838,396
Difference: $56,092,382

Interest on Long-Term Debt
Desoto: $8,272,980
JPS: $10,011,554

General Obligation Bonds:
Desoto: $136,495,000
JPS: $144,950,000

Revenue from Federal Sources:
Desoto: $973,317
JPS: $2,289,820

Revenue from State Sources:
Desoto: $132,912,091
JPS: $128,746,595

Revenue from Local Sources:
Desoto: $60,308,347
JPS: $76,403,538

PERS Contributions
Desoto: $10,945,513
JPS: $17,275,853


Anonymous said...

There is nothing to indicate any changes are to come. A sad situation with no plan. This is yet another example of a unit being only as good as its leaders.

Lumbergh said...

But JPS produces a product that justifies the premium...

Anonymous said...

Wonder why the huge difference in amount for special education grants from the Feds.....

Anonymous said...

The reason JPS is struggling is because we still haven't finished spending a gazillion dollars in debt to rebuild downtown.

Get downtown completed and Jesus will return to set up his new earthly HQ in the King Edward.

Anonymous said...

Seems difference is racial makeup & poverty level. So draw what conclusions you will from that

Anonymous said...


I want to correct a point on Special Education federal grants. The totals you have are for Department of Education grants overall, not just Special Education grants (which are near even by the way as the SPED Cluster). The total of note to look at is Title I expenditures. JPS is north of $14 millions whereas Desoto is approximately $3.3 million.

Anonymous said...

Also of note, the 2009 PERS matching contributions are as follows: $18.1 million for JPS and $13.3 for DPS. DeSoto Schools employs around 3,400. I wonder how many are employed by JPS while educating the same number of kids.

Anonymous said...

Well, I THINK, what people in Jackson Public Schools would say is that when you have so many more students in poverty, and so many more requiring "special" education, and that type of thing, it drives up the cost of education. At least that's always been what the government schools have said about how inexpensively private schools have historically educated kids compared to government schools -- the private schools have a bunch of "easy to educate kids." -- like I'm sure they would say about DeSoto County. At least I think that's what they would say. If that's the case, maybe we can't afford to educate every single student.

Kingfish said...

6:15 AM, you are right. I took it out as I realized what I did. Was comparing the cumulative federal pass through dollars. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Poverty level is the key difference. The data is consistent (and not just in MS): educating children living at or below poverty level is more expensive. You only need look at MS and our being 50th in education performance and 50th in economic performance to see demonstration of this fact.

Kingfish said...

So JPS already spends $56 million more than Desoto. How much more should they spend? $75 million? $100 million?

Anonymous said...

WHY is it so much more expensive to educate a child simply because he is from a poor family?? The reason, of course, is because there is no support from the drop-out mother or (especially) the "baby-daddy". Yet we continue to enable and perpetuate these "families" when we force the more disciplined and therefore, more successful, taxpayer to support them. If our federal government is going to force us to provide birth control for promiscuous college students, we should also require sterilization after the second pregnancy of any habitual welfare recipient. (Note, I said HABITUAL welfare recipient to distinguish from those who need TEMPORARY support due to layoff, catastrophic illness or death of the primary wage earner...stuff like that...which is the INTENDED purpose of federally funded welfare programs.)

Anonymous said...

The instructional cost per student is less money that I paid for private schools 10 years ago in both districts. I don't know what the tuition is now. But, add to that also, that I paid for books and uniforms and activity fees and school trips and depending on activities, parents pay for band instruments and cheerleading outfits, etc.

Private colleges are also more expensive that state colleges so where does anyone get the notion that private education is less expensive?

Does DeSoto have magnet schools? JPS does and how are magnet schools different from charter schools and it that affecting cost?

How are the sports programs different? How old are the school buildings and how much maintenance is involved. Jackson hasn't built a new school in some time.

Does JPS have smaller classrooms or more teachers or more administration?

And,yes, the poverty level is huge. So is the fact that one is 98% black and the other 61% white. Still, the wealthiest students from that area attend private schools in Jackson or go to boarding school. Their parents get an apartment here. So...what's up with that?

There are also huge differences in poverty in rural areas vs urban areas. Poor children in rural areas often fair better for a number of reasons too lenghty to list here.

Look, the problem is that there is more than one way to go about charter schools, there are many details to be considered and those promoting this bill didn't do their homework ahead of time. They got elected and put in the bill the next day. It takes more than 4 months to lay a good foundation for an workable structure to pull this off well. This will be implemented willy nilly and so we won't get what we will pay for and I doubt those passing the bill even know what it will cost to set this up.

This isn't how one goes about making good decisions that actually solve problems.

Our public school system is in trouble but we won't solve the problems until we restructure. This is like adding another story to a building with foundation problems.

Anonymous said...

8:11am - You have many many valid points, in particular, the willy nilly way the charter school bills are being passed. Did any legislator research successful charter schools before writing and passing the legislation? Why would they abandon teacher certification when it is well-documented that most successful charters only hire teachers from the highly acclaimed Teach for America program?

On the point of the high number of SLD students enrolled in JPS, it is a well-known fact within school systems that mothers who want to receive aid for their children will coach their children on how to act/respond prior to the required administered test that qualifies them for the gov't check. Also, many children in special education classes are placed in special ed classes due to their behavioral problems and not because they lack the capacity to learn.
Given this parental coaching to get a check consideration, is it any wonder why most, if not all, low-poverty children are placed into special needs classes? It is not the child's fault; it is the fraudulent parents who want this gov't handout at the risk of their own child being needlessly labeled as special needs. Please keep in mind that there certainly children with true learning disabilities who truly need and deserve special education. Those deserving special needs children are not the target of my opinion and nor are the disabled/physically handicapped children.

Anonymous said...


Pull your heads out of your asses that this legislation is "willy nilly" or rushed or ill considered.

The facts don't support the force fed Parents' Campaign and PPS spin y'all are barfing up.

Anonymous said...

11:23am what evidence do you have to show that different systems were considered and that there is a consensus on which will work best for MS?

If the debate / hearings were more than shallow, it certainly wasn't reported.

Anonymous said...

What evidence do you have that Republicans in the Senate did no due diligence over the last four years?

Anonymous said...

5:20 pm the bill itself . Did you read the abandonment of teacher certification?

And , the addition a special certification for masters and PhDs to teach their speciality would have been a nice " tell" that someone studied successful programs.

Those familiar with education ( as opposed to being in the public school system) know what should be there and isn't.

The Republican apparently see educators as the enemy and can't tell the difference between those who are lobbying and those who have no dog in the fight but do have expertise in the field.

Shadowfax said...

11:19; Don't think for a minute that your cheap shot at all public school teachers/employees went unnoticed. Your lame remark re 'as opposed to being in the public school system' attests to your professional arrogance and renders (at least for me) the rest of your comments irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Go public March 19, 2012 11:19 PM. Put up your own website, communicate your credentials, come back here with a link, show Mississippi what you've got.

Anonymous said...

Shadowfax, my apologies if that is how you read it.

The fact is there is validity to examining bias, it is human for those in an existing system to resist change and it's rather obvious that some people think this is a clash between biased points of view.

I intended it to mean " if you reject the opinions of those currently in the public school system because you see them as biased" then " why not look to those who are not biased?"

8:46 AM I am not Don Quixote and the proverbial horse is out of the barn. IF there had been interest in the legislature for what " those with no dog in the fight" but with expertise and experience thought, they would have been invited into " the four year process". The research and researchers and professors who have weighed in are not hard to find...unless you are only looking to reinforce your existing point of view ( on either side). States which have charter schools have tons of information that is unbiased.

Do YOU know if there will be minimum qualifications for students who will be tested ( and how) or will there be just a lottery? Who will set geographic boundaries and are there enough students within existing geographical boundaries? Will charter schools require parents to pay for some things and if so, what? What is the target age group priority? Will there be parent interviews as part of the process? How far out do parents have to apply?

These aggravating details can make a huge difference in how well a charter school works in different locations. You see, the " market" you are serving matters. One size does NOT fit all. Has anyone bothered to learn enough about the existing market to know how many parents would participate in a charter program and WHERE the most interest is? HMMMM? Seems to me that is the FIRST thing anyone should have looked into.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to publish this comment but I couldn't find anything about the report that came out on the discipline in Jackson Public Schools this past year. The school board was presented with some information and I was surprised to not seen any info on your site.

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS