SuperTalk Mississippi

Fate of state’s second largest school district in Gov’s hands

The Jackson Public School District could soon be taken over by the state.

The State Board of Education announced that they believe JPS is in a state of extreme emergency and are currently in the process of requesting a declaration from Governor Phil Bryant.

However, Jackson city leaders say they are questioning the motives of the board.

“To not even follow the Open Meetings Act and show their vote publicly shows that the “fix” was in and that they had no intention to actually listening to the voluminous evidence presented by JPS to show that the audit was not true, that it was not accurate, and to show that we have made tremendous progress over the last couple of months,” said Melvin Priester, Jackson city councilman.

If the Governor signs the declaration saying JPS is in a state of extreme emergency, Margie Pulley would take over as interim superintendent.

Pulley has previously succeeded with turnarounds with the Oktibbeha County school district, as well as the Tunica school district.

Councilman Priester said that he was disappointed in the outcome and that they would be reaching out to the Governor to see what the next steps would be.

“The record that the state Department of Education has with transforming school districts is abysmal,” said Preister. “It will result in a loss of services for children. It is not going to make children in JPS have a better outcome. It is going to make things much, much worse. This is not a positive outcome and we intend to fight this vigorously.”

According to the Mississippi Department of Education, the state has taken over 19 other school districts and two are currently ongoing in the Leflore County school district and the Tunica school district.

RELATED: State Board: JPS is in state of extreme emergency

RELATED: Looming takeover what it really looks like for JPS

RELATED: MDE votes 10-1 for JPS takeover

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