JPS facing challenges but officials say not in a financial crisi - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

JPS facing challenges but officials say not in a financial crisis

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson Public School officials warned the Board of Trustees Tuesday that they are not at crisis level but financial challenges lie ahead in the face of state mandated budget cuts to education.

The district learned Friday that legislation before the governor would cut funding by half a million dollars for the remainder of the year and $4.3 million dollars for the 2016-2017 school term.

It is a more than 7% reduction from last year's budget.

"We did it in 2012, and that involved a lot of folks losing jobs which is not where we're trying to go. That's not an option for us," said JPS Chief Financial Officer Sharolyn Miller.

She asked the board for priorities in setting their upcoming budget, noting that if programs were not tied to instruction they may not be funded.

Trustees were told that needed bus and vehicle purchases and facility and infrastructure repairs may have to be put off for another year.        

"Of course we want to look at, we want to try to keep as many programs, extra programs that we have, like the arts and music and that but at this point nothing is off the table," said the district CFO. "We have to make sure that we meet the basics of our children, which is making sure they get the basic instruction".

Tuesday's Board Finance Committee meeting was an opportunity for the public and board to be made aware of the potential consequences of the budget cuts.

District officials added that in the last five years JPS has been underfunded by $67 million dollars because MAEP was not fully funded.

If signed by Governor Phil Bryant, the education budget cuts will affect all school districts in the state.

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