Tuesday, April 10, 2018

JPS wants to borrow more money.

Uh-oh.  The Jackson Public Schools District wants to play around with bonds again.  The Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday:


On Monday, Board President Jeanne Middleton Hairston and Vice President Ed Sivak met with interim Superintendent Freddrick Murray and Chief Financial Officer Sharolyn Miller to discuss a potential bond package ranging between $80 million to $100 million.

Miller explained the bond issue, which if the board proceeds would come to voters by June, would work as a carryover from the last bond issue passed in 2006. The tax levy that Jackson voters approved by a more than 60 percent margin is set to expire this year. Article
JPS collects more money from property taxes than ever.  Enrollment is falling.  So naturally JPS wants to borrow more money.   Then there is the question of  who is going to get paaaaaaaiiiiiiiiid on this deal. Remember this crap?

Think I'm being too harsh? Answer this question.  The SEC said that Porter Bingham was not a registered municipal financial advisor.  What steps has JPS taken to recover the $328,500 it paid to Malachi Financial Products in the 2015 bond refinance?  Just curious. 

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Atlanta they call it "makin it rain". They have no other answer but
mo money. This board is no better than the last, just different faces. The only thing they demand is money, never performance.

Anonymous said...

Yeah --- how about no.

How about they demonstrate they know how to handle what they already have...

Anonymous said...

If only they would fund MAEP...

Anonymous said...

"JPS collects more money from property taxes than ever"....but "enrollment is falling" so arguably it needs less money. But yet these new "leaders" think JPS needs to borrow 80-100 MILLION more dollars ? For what ? (I read the CL article you refer to but did not see where it mentioned what this new money was supposedly needed for.)

One of your articles a few months back during the State takeover dispute showed that JPS already spends around $2000 per child more than Desoto County Schools, a comparable and in fact even larger school district. Spending more money didn't keep JPS out of the predicament it now finds itself in, so how is spending more money going to get it out of this predicament ?

I recall seeing another article a few months ago that JPS had maybe decided to close 2 or 3 schools, which is a good start. But your previous article noted that JPS has 16 more schools than Desoto County, a larger school district. Why has JPS not voted to close more than just 2 or 3 schools ? Also, your previous article noted that JPS has about 800 more "administrators" than Desoto County, which again is bigger and has more students. But yet I've seen no articles or reports that JPS has decided to let 500-600 unneeded "administrators" go.

JPS' biggest and most obvious problem is wasteful, unnecessary spending, but I've seen no serio9us effort to reel in its spending and become more efficient with the money it already has. If this supposed bond issue is put to a vote, I will NOT vote to raise my taxes any more unless and until I see some real hard, cost saving decisions made by JPS, and not just more spending on unnecessary waste and inefficiency.

Sadly, it appears as though the Governor's and Mayor's joint effort to prevent JPS from being taken over is just another example of delaying the inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Wait, I thought Parents for Public Schools was going to right this ship. Whatever happened to them?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Governor Bryant have to approve the issue? After all, he interceded on behalf of JPS and the socialist Mayor, set up a nice do nothing but hire consultants Commission, and denied the take-over attempt by MDE professionals that would have prevented this. He owns it.

Anonymous said...

JPS enrollment is down about 20% in the past 10 years.

Do they have 20% fewer teachers? 20% fewer administrators? 20% fewer buildings?

MaggieFromMs said...

I once taught for JPS. One of the biggest drains is the number of admins at central office. This was years ago, but ask for the list. There are individuals that are in charge of very few things. In my opinion, many are there due to returns of favors. Are all of these positions needed? In most cases. no.

Anonymous said...

Y'all should tour some of the JPS facilities and see first-hand the financial need. Compare them to schools in other districts (or the white private schools in the area) Also, this is a new, very smart school board - definitely different from the previous regime.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the CL, did you catch Sam R. Hall's self-promotion? Too busy entering award categories to edit this poor "newspaper".

F mickns said...

Hey King.

I agree that JPS suffers from that old and well established Mississippi, and for that matter , national phobia of fighting every effort to cut back.

Kinda like why Mississippi has so many public school districts and three public university systems.

So what is the answer?

Closing schools? JPS is doing just that.

Cutting back on administrators? Most of the "surplus" administrators are paid for with Federal Title I funds, with a two/three or zero to one match.

Cutting back on programs? Already no arts, no music, no home economics, no shop classes. Sure, some of theses activities are covered under "extracurricular" programs however, with a large portion of parental funding.

Getting back fees stolen by previous consultants? Maybe. but are't there statue of limitations considerations?

Is a puzzlement!

Any suggestion?.

PS: King, Your previous analysis of JPS being top heavy in administrators has one huge and fatal flaw. You used the MDE audit reports that basically present a summary of large income/cost accumulations.

You really needed to look at the very detailed, line by line, budget accounting system that MDE requires all school districts must adhere to.

This detailed budget system provides exact and pre-defined sources of funds and destinations of expenditures.

I became familiar with the MDE line by line budget system while I was during research on a Federal Court case.

Anonymous said...

RE: 2:19 pm. What a wonderful field of weeds to pick from.

I'll skip the tit-for-tat and go right to your question: Any suggestion??

JPS already is the biggest portion of ad valorem taxes paid by homeowners in the city of Jackson. Ben Allen and his ilk wonder why the Silent Majority support Tate Reeves' action on the special tax district? It's because we already pay insanely high property taxes in Jackson to JPS... and get NOTHING for them. If you send your kids to public schools in JPS, your kid gets a substandard education to say the least. If you send your kid to private school, you have to pay that high tuition PLUS the high property taxes... and you still get nothing, but at least your kid gets a decent education.

The sad part is that this has been going on for 30 years. It hasn't changed in any significant way.

Here's a starting suggestion: JPS needs to win back the trust of the parents and taxpayers of the city of Jackson. How? Two first steps:

ONE, spend a year or two putting out a decent product WITH THE MONEY YOU ALREADY HAVE. Make those tough choices that will alienate some special interests. Cut the consultants, law firms, public relations firms, accounting firms, and other connected hangers-on that get the bloated contracts and jobs because of their connections. End the trough.

And TWO, throw open all records, contracts, etc. for the past seven years to any and all who want to copy or inspect them. Everything from the big stuff to the little details. Don't hide behind FOIA or Open Records...be completely transparent. Let people see the good, the bad, and the ugly... no holds barred.

I have no faith that anything will improve in JPS, be that schools or administration. The gravy train for the in-crowd will never be shut down.

Kingfish said...

Haven't had an issue with getting public records from JPS.

‘White Schools’ said...

@1:59. Y'all should tour some of the JPS facilities and see first-hand the financial need. Compare them to schools in other districts (or the white private schools in the area)

Seriously?!? You can’t compare to the private schools. Key word there... private! Paid for by private people with private money wanting private and parochial educations for their children. And guess what sjw? They pay lots and lots of property tax and sales tax to prop up a disfunctional top heavy JPS. Lordy you lefties need help.

Anonymous said...

Who will buy these bonds?

Kingfish said...

Galloway is a nice brand new school. Go look at its rating.

Anonymous said...

Money is needed for newer building. However, the school has too many administrators. And JPS like every school needs to cut back on the consultants and vendors. If teachers and principals need to be trained, let the central staff leave the office and go sit in classrooms and offer tips for improvement. JPS security is housed in a building by itself. Close security office and spread the staff at the other school buildings. Simple things like this could save tons of money.

Anonymous said...

1:59 The condition or lack of facilities has much to do with the district's priorities. True, many of the amenities rich districts take for granted are lacking but the essentials could be maintained up to par if the district cared more for student performance and less about keeping administrators salaries "comparable" with other districts. If they aren't comparable in performance why are they so concerned with keeping up with the salaries of the "rich" districts. They hire superintendents and pay them as if the district had all the money it needs, then complain that the district is broke when you point to achievement. Also remember new buildings do not make a great school. Some of the finest educational institutions in this country are housed in hundred year old buildings and worse. Also remember all the new buildings and facilities will not make a fool learn.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know a thing about Galloway (thought it was a high school,duh). What an educational disaster. Their "administrators" should literally be run out of town.

Anonymous said...

The majority of JPS parents and students do not pay any property taxes because they do not own any real estate, just rent. The true taxpayers of Jackson will continue to pay increase taxes with no ROI.

Anonymous said...

Landlord's pass on ALL taxes to the renter. Don't be an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Idiot. So what if there is a federal funding match, it is pathetically wasteful to "just" spend on non-value positions.

Kingfish said...

Last census stated majority of Jackson was homeowner. Ridgeland is majority renter. So much for your claim.

Anonymous said...

JPS has teachers and then they have the Bailey Group in on top of that. It is particularly evident at JPS but it is an issue throughout the state- if we took the money districts were paying consulting firms and raised teacher salaries we could attract teachers who didn't require consulting companies to train them.

We can dance around it all we want but teacher quality is the key to student success. (Someone is about to gripe about parents. Sorry, quality teachers overcome bad home lives every darn day.) We do not pay enough to attract and retain quality teachers. And, these consulting companies are making over a $1000 a day per consultant to go into these schools. There is no real incentive to work themselves out of a job.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if we gave MDA type financial incentives to teachers and school districts instead of tire plants

F mickns said...



April 10, 2018 at 8:23 PM Anonymous said...


"We can dance around it all we want but teacher quality is the key to student success. (Someone is about to gripe about parents. Sorry, quality teachers overcome bad home lives every darn day.) We do not pay enough to attract and retain quality teachers. And, these consulting companies are making over a $1000 a day per consultant to go into these schools. There is no real incentive to work themselves out of a job."

MICKENS SAYS: So what happens when you pay teachers $125,000 a year plus a possible $25,000 bonus? This is commonly called "throwing money at the problem".

They're trying it in a NYC low socioeconomic school with not surprising good results.

1.
http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2014/10/27/teacher-salary-study

2.
http://www.tepcharter.org/results.php

3.
file:///C:/Users/Frank%20Mickens/Documents/A%20HP%20Document%20Backup%2007%2024%2014/Education%20General/NYC%20Charter%20School%20Pays%20100%20000%20salary%20Gates%20Fdn%20Study%20%2004%2011%2018TEP_fnlrpt.pdf


Anonymous said...

There is no way Jackson is majority homeowner as opposed to renter and those who just 'stay' somewhere. Regardless of census data. Imagine the huge number of apartment dwellers who never respond to a census instrument.

Anonymous said...

Don't we know by now that when you put people in charge of somebody else's lockbox, this is what we get as a result?

F mickns said...

April 10, 2018 at 4:33 PM
Anonymous said.

"Also remember new buildings do not make a great school. Some of the finest educational institutions in this country are housed in hundred year old buildings and worse. Also remember all the new buildings and facilities will not make a fool learn."

MICKENS SAYS:

Exactly! Buildings don't equate to quality education, but if you look carefully at the support systems that carry that old building to excellence, you will always find gads and gads of MONEY. Disposable income MONEY. Harvard has 200 year old buildings and a multi billion dollar endowment.

The issue with JPS, building renovations and new buildings relates to the MDE Audit that uncovered numerous health and safety issues directly related to old buildings, obsolete security provisions and antiquated utilities.

One of the basic tenets of engineering and design is the "Time Value of Money", a very effective capitalist tool. Often called a "Cost to Benefit Ratio Study. It can be proven that spending two times as much on a new building today, for example, in the life cycle of that facility, is actually cheaper and more cost effective, than spending 1/2 has much on renovations.

This stuff takes money.

As for consultants being paid. Look at the Kemper Plant fiasco, Look at the so called Madison Airport Expansion. Look at the Rankin County proposed Wastewater Treatment Plant. None of these projects have or will come to fruition, however the consultants, as always, will get paid.

Engineers, planners, scientists, economic development specialists always get paid. As they should be paid if governing bodies continue to exhibit a "we can't do it ourselves" attitude. Consultants are first of all capitalistic business people. Hooray for them. We need them. They deserve to be paid.

"When in trouble, when in doubt get a well scrubbed stranger to help you out"

F mickns said...

April 10, 2018 at 3:32 PM Kingfish said...

"Galloway is a nice brand new school. Go look at its rating."

MICKENS SAYS

Exactly! Buildings alone do not equate into quality or excellence or even adequacy.

Before I go any further I repeat myself by pointing out that yes Harvard has 200 year old buildings that continue to produce excellence, but keep in mind Harvard also has a multi billion dollar, disposable income endowment to maintain, upgrade and modernize those 200 year old relics.

Getting back to Galloway and its "newer" building.

It's kinda like the 2nd Amendment gun folks cherry picking any and all individual proposals to cut down on MASS gun violence. If each and every proposal in itself doesn't solve the problem, by itself, then the proposal is rejected out of hand

Let's carry this, convoluted line of thinking to auto safety.

Just having brakes will not insure no auto accidents.

Just having a steering wheel will not prevent all auto injuries.

Not having safety belts will not prevent all auto accident fatalities.

However if you put all of that stiff together, then you are a lot closer to preventing auto accidents and injuries (MASS SHOOTINGS) than not having the complete package.

Taking the same analogy to education.

Having safe, clean and comfortable buildings alone, will not insure academic success.

Having social service support programs such as in school meals and after school programs alone will not insure scholastic success.

Having enough parental time investment support and disposable income investments to supplement the school budget alone, will not guarantee educational success.

HOWEVER, putting all of these pieces together will certainly increase the probability of success.


F mickns said...

April 10, 2018 at 3:20 PM
Anonymous said


‘White Schools’ said...
@1:59. Y'all should tour some of the JPS facilities and see first-hand the financial need. Compare them to schools in other districts (or the white private schools in the area)

Seriously?!? You can’t compare to the private schools. Key word there... private! Paid for by private people with private money wanting private and parochial educations for their children. And guess what sjw? They pay lots and lots of property tax and sales tax to prop up a disfunctional top heavy JPS. Lordy you lefties need help."

MICKENS SAYS:

So what happens when you don't provide an education to folks, you don't necessarily don't like or care about? The begign neglect mentality will put them on the track to earning a living wage outside of the norms of the greater society?

Just ask the well off folks in Jackson's Fondren community.

They have a foundation, a monthly street fair, higher than average disposable incomes, and a well educated populace

However, that community is currently being plagued with petty thefts, vandalism and an an environment of unease for resideent's safety.

They are being preyed upon by youngsters, young adults and older heads, who saunter through Fondren like it is their own private shopping mall.

Believe it or not petty criminals do make sophisticated cost benefit analyses when choosing a life of petty, and often violent crime later as graduate students.

Let's make the calculation for ourselves?

Minor marijuania possession felony, means no job.

No education means a minimum wage job with no benefits and irregular part time hours means really no job at all.

Just out of jail for a low level drug possession charge means no drivers license, paying for your parole officer, paying for ankle bracelet monitoring services, paying restitution to victims, paying past due fines.

Final answer?

Drop out of this onerous , unforgiving society and live as the under class has always lived. By their wits.

Yes, a single minimum wage job was never meant to provide a living wage. But in the past they at least provided some benefits. Paid vacation, medical time off, and partially health insurance. My Mom always said "To get ahead in this world you need one job and at least, two off the books hustles. She/we sold chicken plates dinners on the side, We pained apartments, cut grass, but you could almost always rely on at least the JOB proving a foundation for survival.

With today's part time and independent contractor mania, it's not hard to see the intelligence behind choosing a life of petty crime.

By not educating our fellow Mississippians we are, in effect, manufacturing criminals.

.

Anonymous said...

Lighten up Mickens. Nobody is manufacturing criminals. Of course the putrid conditions in many of our communities create an environment conducive to criminal activity. Yes, but the decision, the choices are still there. Young people without family support often make bad choices which affect the rest of their lives. That happens in Mississippi and in New York. And in Mississippi and in New York some kids in bad environments make good decisions and avail themselves of the opportunities available. We can't insure success no more than we can "manufacture" criminals. Many of your other points are good.

Anonymous said...

People should be getting tired of the same old thing.
Jackson schools were failing because of the leadership.
When you exchange one bunch of crooks with another bunch of crooks you cannot expect anything different.
All you are doing is adding the current bunch of crook's friends to the payroll along with the former crooks friends.

Anonymous said...

1:59, I understand your argument that JPS may need 80-100 Million in bond money to make repairs to and maintain its present schools. But if JPS would close 10-15 of its schools that are not needed (again we have 16 more schools than Desoto County which is a larger school district), then JPS would save tens of millions spent on each of those unnecessary schools, and those millions in savings could go towards repairing and maintaining the ones that are actually needed, without borrowing 80-100 million. In other words, cut the wasteful spending and use that money more wisely where its needed.

Anonymous said...


The JPS parents and the City of Jackson residents have just want they want.

Control of their Community.

Do you see protests at JPS HQ?

Do you see riots at City Hall?

Do you see a pissed off community? No, you don't.

They are happy with the status quo and those of us not living in Jackson, or involved with the schools should mind our own business.

Anonymous said...

BabyChok wants to refi Jackson's bond debt so he can duck right-sizing a bloated city government.

Anonymous said...

"BabyChok wants to refi Jackson's bond debt so he can duck right-sizing a bloated city government."

You can't 'right size' city government unless you shut down the city employment office concept.

You can't shut down the city employment office concept unless you want to not be re-elected.

How difficult is that?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, 11:04, you are correct. I have seen parents protesting and suing over the threatened State takeover. But I have not seen any parent protesting over JPS failing to provide their child/children with a safe and successful education. WTF ?

Anonymous said...

Maybe another task force committee can fix it. Oh, and a line chart made by a 2nd grader to show the public.

Anonymous said...

Must be a new bond pimp loose in Jackson with both JPS and now Jackson spinning the supposed virtues of bond debt.

Anonymous said...

Bonds - Borrowing money that your kids and grandkids will have to pay back, that is if they even pay taxes.

Keep kicking that can down the road.

F mickns said...

April 11, 2018 at 9:55 AM
Anonymous said..Anonymous said...

"Lighten up Mickens. Nobody is manufacturing criminals. Of course the putrid conditions in many of our communities create an environment conducive to criminal activity. Yes, but the decision, the choices are still there. Young people without family support often make bad choices which affect the rest of their lives. That happens in Mississippi and in New York. And in Mississippi and in New York some kids in bad environments make good decisions and avail themselves of the opportunities available. We can't insure success no more than we can "manufacture" criminals. Many of your other points are go

MICKENS SAYS:

I find it very hard to support any opinion that purports "making the exception the rule", a common misconception when talking about the relatively few of the daily oppressed persons who break out of the bonds of societal constraints

I am continually amazed at how un-empathetic, and by definition, therefor un-Christian, people almost always fall back on the "individual responsibility" red herring, totally ignoring the powerful and overwhelming systematic societal and institutional factors that drive MASS individual actions.

There are whole disciplines that are designed to quantify, predict and effect MASS human behavior, irregardless of the relatively few successful "individual outliers'.

Mature scientific disciplines such as designing and implementing retail marketing campaigns, political polling, Census taking, TV program ratings, movie pre-release screenings, public relations campaigns, advertising product research, etc.

All of these disciplines use extremely small samples of individuals to interpolate to the larger MASS society.

These disciplines don't care if an entire segment of the population of individuals were denied Farmers Home Loans,Veterans benefits and G.I. College education grants for decades.

These disciplines don't conclude that the federally designed promoted and implemented practice of "red lining", not allowing loans, in entire communities resulted in low or no economic growth in these communities.

These disciplines don't consider the generations of laws designed to keep certain communities terrorized and poor.

These disciplines really don't care that that EVEN TODAY, not in the misty mist of our Confederate/Jim Crow past, today, Jim Crow type laws and policies are alive and well in the school to prison pipeline, debtors prisons for the poor who cannot afford to pay misdemeanor fines, police LYNCHINGS of unarmed, completely naked Black persons', who may be armed with a sharp "Q-tip, LYNCHED with guns under the color of law.

All these discipline know for sure that whatever the inputs affecting MASS human behavior, they have the tools to successfully predict MASS human behavior, and they know how to profit from these small samples of individuals

So please, please, please get off of the "individual responsibility" kick and. open your hopefully Christian eyes, heart and mind, and see the world for what it is.

If you are not Christian, then you get a pass from me. For those With no Christian based morality, ethics and empathy, I really don't expect much from these folks.

Continuing, if individual responsibility is the cause all and catch all for human success in the U.S., why aren't you, ANNON, rich?.

Or are you just too lazy to work hard enough to obtain the epitome of American achievement?

What's holding YOU back?
.

Anonymous said...

police LYNCHINGS of unarmed, completely naked Black persons', who may be armed with a sharp "Q-tip, LYNCHED with guns under the color of law.


Stop with that crap. Unarmed whites are killed by policemen everyday. It's NOT a black thing.

Anonymous said...

Just think Frank, you didn't need to preface any of the comments you leave here with a prodigious kissing of Donner's you know what.

F mickns said...

April 12, 2018 at 9:36 AM Anonymous said...
Just think Frank, you didn't need to preface any of the comments you leave here with a prodigious kissing of Donner's you know what."


Huh? FYI, Donna thinks I'm an a-hole most of the time.

She doesn't know how to accept truth spoken by certain folks.

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