Jackson Cuts Focus on Creative, Improvement

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Jackson Public Schools' administrators sat down with educators’ unions’ leaders Friday morning for the first of many meetings to find ways to make up a $1.2 deficit left, in part, because the district has had too many students leave this year.

They are considering things like fundraising, sacrificing some of their own benefits, and cutting overtime. Their emphasis is to keep all programs for students and all personnel on the payroll.

The reason for their money woes is also forcing them to look at what they are doing wrong. Many of the 313 students they lost went to charter schools. JPS is calling as many of their parents as they can to ask what they would suggest the schools improve. Eighty-eight percent of the students who left were elementary school-aged.

Superintendent Dan Evans says they will look at cutting an elementary school next year. Though he won't rule it out, he says making that cut during this year would be a "traumatic" and "drastic" step.