Will Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Cedric Gray resign today? Several sources told JJ that Dr. Cedric Gray is supposed to resign his position after he narrowly avoided being fired earlier this week.
A majority of school board members present at the Tuesday meeting voted to fire Dr. Gray but they were one vote short of successfully approving the motion. They met again yesterday in executive session. However, Dr. Gray apparently took the Tuesday action as a vote of no-confidence and agreed to step down. Chief among the reasons was the 2016 school accountability ratings. JJ can not report the actual ratings but will say they were pretty bad.* There were only four members present at the Tuesday vote. Thus the fire Dr. Gray side probably only needs one more vote to terminate his employment.
Kingfish note: It is about time. The Kingfish knew this guy was a fraud when one of the first things he did was blatantly lie about the school ratings in 2012. Don't believe me? Read this post for yourself. The number of "F" rated schools doubled his second year but he cut them in half during his third year - or rather, he got back to where he started. Then there were the crony contracts. Dr. Gray funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to his friends when JPS refinanced the 2007 bonds last year. Bonds that cost $548,000 in 2007 skyrocketed to $1.2 million in 2015 as Tony Gaylor, Betty Mallett, and Malachi all slurped at the JPS trough. Then there was the time he wanted to pay Malachi $500,000 to draft a budget when he has at least one CPA on the JPS staff but who wants to quibble over such minor things? A 2016 MDE audit stated that Dr. Gray did not provide effective leadership and that JPD schools are dangerous. Dr. Gray did not even ask for a hearing to contest the audit and submitted an "inadequate response". JPS spends nearly $60 million more than Desoto County for fewer students yet Dr. Gray shrieked that his budget couldn't handle a less than 1% budget cut despite a shrinking enrollment.
The sad truth is Dr. Gray was never qualified for his job. However, one criteria he did fulfill was keeping Jayne Sargent's son in a cushy downtown job when he became Superintendent. Several sources said that little promise played a part in who was hired for the position. There were only two finalists for the position and neither were qualified. Meanwhile, the school board blew off Jim Barksdale's offer to supplement the salary of a new superintendent so it could hire the best superintendent. The school board should pray that Mr. Barksdale has a forgiving nature and again makes the same offer.
Things should get real interesting today. Stay tuned.
*JJ and other media organizations have the results but signed non-disclosure agreements with MDE. We can not publish them until 10:00 AM today.