Voters overwhelmingly approve JPS bond referendum

August 8, 2018 in News

By Othor Cain,

Editor,

Forest Hill High School, one of seven JPS high schools

Forest Hill High School, one of seven JPS high schools

Jackson voters gave the nearly 26, 000 students in the Jackson Public School District a welcome back to school gift with the approval of a $65M bond referendum Tuesday.

Voters overwhelmingly said yes to much-needed infrastructure repairs for the many aging buildings throughout the district when they cast their ballots.

The final vote was 11,449 or 86.10 percent for and 1,757 or 13.21 percent against.

“I’m elated that the voters approved this…this is cause for great celebration as this says the adults in our community are in full support of our students,” said Board Chairwoman Jeanne Middleton Hairston.

Don McCrackin, executive director of facilities and operations for JPS, said his team will begin immediately to roll out projects outlined in the referendum. “Our first priority will be to fix necessary repairs listed on the state audit,” he said.

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) launched an extensive investigative audit and some of the findings included leaking roofs and failure to maintain buildings that meet the state’s standard of safe and sanitary schools. “Addressing these issues will be a starting place for us, a top priority,” McCrackin said.

A complete list of outlined projects can be found on the districts website.

Late last month, the board approved a resolution to create a community oversight committee. This committee among other things will be charged with keeping the community engaged with the work being done around the bond.

“We heard the cry from the community and we wanted to be as transparent as possible,” Hairston said. “This will be one of many ways that we will engage with our stakeholders.”