Jackson Public Schools District officials came crying to the legislature Friday over charter schools. The Jackson Free Press reported last week:
New charter schools are a money drain on Jackson Public Schools, the district’s chief financial officer, Sharolyn Miller, warned Thursday. Speaking to at a public hearing on education to members of Mississippi’s Legislative Black Caucus and House and Senate Democrats, Miller said the size of JPS in addition to continued underfunding has inhibited the success of the district. Compounding the problem, charter schools billed JPS $565,000 at the beginning of the school year, and the district had to pay with its local contributions....Oh really? Well perhaps Miller and her peeps shouldn't blow $1.2 million on paying off their friends and lining pockets when refinancing bonds. JJ reported in January that JPS refinanced $118 million of 2008 bonds lasts year. The professional service fees (bond lawyers, underwriters, and other bond pimps) were $538,416 in 2008. However, Dr. Cedric Grey and his pals raised that cost to $1,233,824 last year*. A difference of nearly $700,000. $700,000 is more than $565,000 even in Common Core math. Perhaps JPS should start looking out for the students instead of its good ole boys.
Then there is the actual budget itself. The 2014 audit states that the revenues were $267,205,302 and expenses were $265,302,900. The $565,000 expense is only 0.2% of JPS expenses and 0.2% of JPS revenues. It is a rather challenged administration that can't find a way to save 0.2% of expenses but perhaps JJ is being a bit harsh.
Keep in mind that JPS has a budget that is $24 million larger than Desoto County Public School District despite having 6,700 fewer students than DCPS. The 2014 audit also states Desoto spends
$8,059 per student while Jackson spends $10,147 per student- a difference of $2,088 per student.
Perhaps JPS should go look in the mirror before it whines about charter schools.
Note: Oh yeah, how could we forget Dr. Grey's attempt to pay Malachi $500,000 to review the finances and draft a budget or two?
*Jackson Public Schools General Obligation Bonds refinance: $118,070,000
Mississippi Development Bank (Issuer): $42,500
Balch & Bingham (Issuer Counsel): $30,000
Malachi Financial Products (Financial Adviser): $328,500
Trustmark (Trustee): $9,250
Chambers & Gaylor (Bond Counsel): $295,750
S&P (Ratings Agency): $63,000
Arbitrage Group (Verification): $6,000
Hunton & Williams (Special Tax Counsel, ATL): $197,500
Betty Mallet (Co-underwriter counsel): $112,500
Baker Donelson (Co-underwriter counsel): $142,140
Image Master (POS fees): $6,684
TOTAL FEES: $1,233,824
$114,000 General Obligation Bonds for JPS (2008)
Mississippi Development Bank (Issuer): $70,000
Dorian Turner (Bond Counsel): $243,813
Balch & Bingham (Issuer Counsel): $25,000
Trustmark (Trustee): $3,604
Baker Donelson (Co-underwriter counsel): $75,320
Community Capital (Financial Adviser): $65,800
Image master (POS, printing): $3,448
Moody's (Ratings): $22,230
Spence Flatguard (state bond attorney): $1,000
Jones Financial Services (Financial Adviser): $28,200
TOTAL FEES: $538,416