Tuesday, February 14, 2017

JPS wants to pay Stringfellow $24,000 for "consulting"


The Jackson Public School Board of Trustees considered awarding a $24,000 consulting contract with Eric Stringfellow at its February 7 meeting.  This contract would be the second such consulting gig JPS has thrown at Mr. Stringfellow in the last six months.  The contract states that Mr. Stringfellow will:


a) Assist the District in both a school closure and transportation outsourcing study;
b) Regularly solicit, write and pitch guest editorials to media outlets; (Do you think this website will be on that list?)
c) Secure a regular guest editorial rotation for the interim superintendent with The Clarion-Ledger and other outlets;
d) Develop and implement an action plan that allows the interim superintendent to interact with parents through social media and face-to-face contact;
e) Develop an aggressive, creative plan to showcase more District events to media, which will include discerning which information about faculty, administrators and students, is more suited for internal platforms and what is most appropriate for the commercial media;
f) Secure outreach sessions with civic, community , and elected officials; as well as faith leaders and law enforcement;
g)Work with the administration and Board of Trustees to develop new messaging for the District, develop communication protocols and be responsible for addressing media inquiries in a swift, logical and sensitive manner;
h)Assist with publishing and producing news editorials for the District; and
i) Assist in ensuring that Board and District communication is consistent and efficient.
JPS will pay $6,000 per month from February to May.  The school board also approved a $10,000 consulting agreement for similar services last August.  The contract expired at the end of October.  Mr. Stringfellow provided an activities report (p.14 in documents posted below) on September 1 that gives a stirring account of his work on behalf of the children of Jackson Public Schools.  He lunched with the Bishop, went to receptions, wrote speeches, hobnobbed with the media, engaged in community outreach, and developed a message for JPS that addressed the notorious MDE audit.

JPS paid Mr. Strinfellow $6,000 on September 1 for his work in June, July, and August.   It paid him another $4,000 on September 21 for his work in August and September.  JPS paid him yet another $8,000 on December 14 for unspecified services.

Kingfish note: $42,000 to a spin doctor, $750,000 for bond pimps, no-bid contracts, yet it's all the fault of charter schools.


15 comments:

Pissing Away Public Pennies said...

Ever since Stringfellow hit the streets of Jackson he has had nothing but a racial agenda. That was true at the Clarion Ledger and is true at Jackson State (if still employed).

I remember back about ten years ago when Employment Security was about to move out of downtown out to I-220 and he was ranting in the paper about agencies, this one in particular, having an obligation to stay in the inner city and help save it from doom.

He portrayed that move as 'race based' even though the agency cited the age of the dilapidated building, need for more floor space and frequent gunfire in the neighborhood on East Capital Street.

Given his racial attitude and periodic anger expressed at white folks, why in the world do we need him in any role with a public school system.

If they need a 'media buffer' or somebody to line up speaking engagements for the superintendent, that's a role for a common clerical employee already on staff.

Help a Good Ol' Boy Out, Brotha! said...

When white people are in charge, it's the "Good Ol' Boy" network, i.e. we go hunting together, so I'll give his company that state contract.

When black people are in charge, it's the "Help a Brotha Out" network, i.e. we go to church together, so I'll give him that city contract.

Regardless of who is in charge, it's cronyism and it's total bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Looks like mostly PR. No PR will help improve the schools image as long as they are graded as an "F". The best PR is to improve student achievement.

Anonymous said...

Having hired a consultant for "marketing" purposes, I can unequivocally say that it is waste of money. "Marketing" is code for all talk...no action. Everything in that scope can be done internally by JPS. Any wonder why JPS is in such bad financial shape?

One can only hope the MDE is watching and massing its troops on their border just waiting for the "execute" order.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Stringfellow and have no personal beef with him. However, the big picture is that JPS has become, over a period of about two decades, a gravy train for the "connected", which usually means Democrat activists, big law firms and accounting firms, "public affairs specialists" and their big firms, and related entities or people connected to them. Some of the contracts, awards, etc., are relatively small; others are huge. They all add up. The result is twofold: the basic education of the city's children is lost and compromised; and the homeowners of the city of Jackson have to pay more and more property taxes each year to cover this.

The only solutions are either to have a mayor who appoints three JPS board members who will reform the whole thing from bottom up (not bloody likely), or to have the state take over and do this (a distinct possibility). true reform would include not only stopping the gravy train/trough monies but trying some very radical new ideas to help educate students.

Anonymous said...

10:15, I get what you're saying that it would be preferable to handle this in house vice contracting...but please explain to how marketing or PR are within the scope of duties one would expect for a school district? Here's a tip. If JPS were actually educating kids then the need for PR or marketing would be exactly zero. This is why the taxpayers are not immediately agreeing to every request for more education funding. We understand it's not going to the classrooms. And this is the ridiculous system that a certain lawyer wants to doom every single Jackson kid to endure and is trying to make that happen by playing word games. Won't affect your kids; keep swirling your drink around the glass at cocktail parties basking in your own brilliance. You sure are going to show those reich wingers, no matter how many children's educations you have to hobble. No matter how many parents who work hard to try and give their kids an opportunity at a better education you have to disappoint. Small price to pay to cement your doctrinaire liberal bona fides.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks the interim is in part hiring Stringfellow to help him, specifically, get the permanent gig.

Anonymous said...

10:1 odds that Eric Stringfellow comments anonymously here at JJ.

Anonymous said...

Do us a favor Kingfish (or anybody else with the knowhow): Bring up a couple of videos of Stringfellow talking about ANY subject over the past fifteen years. The video needs to be, oh, ten minutes long to project accurately. Watch him rant about white people or the downtrodden or how Jackson is being forgotten or in some other manner preaching doom and race-based gloom.

In some circles this would be called vetting. In other circles it would be called establishing credentials and gaining leverage.

Anonymous said...

Here we go:

a) No elementary school should have less than 400 students, no middle school should have less than 750 students and no high school should have less than 1,000 (maybe 1,200 students). When you close/ merge schools bring over the good teachers. Do not bring over the administrators unless one of them is a top of the line principal. But fire some other principal at the same time.

b-i) Are you telling me JPS doesn't have some type of communications and/ or marketing position? If so, what are they doing? This seems to be exactly what would be in their job description.

Anonymous said...

Same Stringfellow that had a"consulting " contract to run Lefleurs Bluff golf course and lost it eventually because he let it go down so badly.

Anonymous said...

The fact this is even being considered shows the true issue....an unqualified school board. With the exception of Kimberly Campbell, none of this people should be running anything.

We Got Control Now.. said...

7:51 almost makes me think of the Jackson Airport Board of Directors.

Just wait til a similar group gets control of the millions in infrastructure grants I saw announced recently. We will see dozens of 'project managers' in city trucks, smoking cigars.

Fah Sho This Is It!.. said...

All these opinions are, in the end, meaningless. The school board will do what they want to do. They don't give a hoot in hell about the man's background, reputation or mindset. They're simply continuing to shuffle public money around in the neighborhood. It's become a modern art-form.

Anonymous said...

8:34
Nothing modern about this art form. It has been around as long as there have been cities and tax collection.

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