Jackson Public School's budget will be cut by $550,000 for the last three months of this school year. JPS Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray spoke out about the funding and said this is based on the lack of state revenue collections.
"That is some celebratory stuff going on within Jackson Public Schools," said Dr. Gray.
Dr. Cedrick Gray was referring to the increased graduation rates, academic performance improvements and the increase in percentage of third graders passing the assessment tests. However, Dr. Gray said the momentum is put on hold as the district learns of not only the half million dollar budget cut, but another budget cut possibly coming. WLBT story.
Here we go again. JPS griped last month that charter schools removed another half-million dollars from the JPS budget. JJ will say now what it said two weeks ago: JPS
shouldn't blow $1.2 million on paying off its 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.
However, Dr. Gray did raise another point. WLBT reported:
"On Friday, April 22nd school districts received a notice from the Mississippi Department of Education that House Bill 1643 passed the legislature and is now pending the signature of the governor," added Dr. Gray.
Dr. Gray said this bill currently has 7.07 percent reduction from full funding for school districts starting next school year.
"The allocations for JPS is 126 million 400 thousand dollars which is a reduction of from last year's allocations of over 4.3 million dollars, a reduction," said Dr. Gray.
Dr. Gray said some very difficult decisions lie ahead that could affect you and JPS students.
JJ will use the 2014 audit to estimate the budget for JPS. The expenses were $265,302,900 in 2014. A $4.3 million budget cut is.......... 1.6% of the JPS budget. Find a competent CEO in corporate America who can't cut 1.6% of a budget that is well over $250 million and still produce positive results without all of the bellyaching. Perhaps JPS should quit spending an extra $50,000 for "minority participation" on its waste collection contract. It could tell Tony Gaylor to give back some of his $300,000 fee and Betty Mallet some of her $100,000 fee for their "work" on the refinancing of the school bonds. Then there is the $350,000 given to Malachi to be a "financial advisor" on the refinancing. At least Dr. Gray failed in his attempt to pay Malachi approximately $500,000 to draft a budget and review JPS finances two years ago.
Keep in mind JPS spends more per student than the other school districts in the Jackson metro area. See the table posted below. Dr. Gray needs to suck it up and get serious about controlling his budget instead of complaining every time he loses less than half a penny out of every dollar.