HomeNewsJMCSS Board approves budget, MOU with County

JMCSS Board approves budget, MOU with County

The Jackson-Madison County School Board had a little bit of discussion during its monthly meeting Thursday night, April 18, about whether or not to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Madison County Commission while also approving its budget for next fiscal year.

The Board officially and unanimously approved the first draft of its budget, which will officially be sent to the county commission’s budget committee for their inspection on Monday, April 22.

The deadline for all county departments to have their budgets submitted is May 1, but JMCSS budget chairman Jason Compton set the goal of having the school system’s budget sent well in advance after they sent their first draft last year in early June.

“I’m really glad to get this sent to them because they do need time to go over things and ask any questions that may come up,” Compton said after the meeting.

Regarding the memorandum of understanding between the school board and the county commission, the county commission approved with 23 yes votes during its meeting on Monday night a MOU that would send $2 million to JMCSS to help them in their renovations of the old Madison Academic/Jackson High building they’re converting into a new Central Office.

JMCSS plans to vacate its current CO building, and when it does, the County has expressed an interest in moving into the building because they need more space than what they have in their current location on Hollywood Drive.

Janice Hampton asked Superintendent Marlon King to explain the MOU because apparently some of her constituents in District 6 equated the move to the closing of a school, which King explained that it wasn’t and the move to the new CO has been in the works for more than two years.

Debbie Gaugh wanted to table the vote because she wasn’t sure JMCSS should give up the building.

“They tell us that the day the new Pope School opens it will be full, and Thelma Barker is full, and we’re hearing that we’re going to grow even more when Blue Oval gets here and our population grows,” Gaugh said after the meeting. “So it makes sense to me for us to hold on to this so we can have the space for a school to put some of those kids that will need somewhere to learn.”

The CO, which is on North Parkway, was originally the Madison County technical vocational tool that Gaugh said she took classes in when she was in high school at Beech Bluff. When the county and city school systems consolidated, the building became the central office, and the school system has control of it until they vacate it.

If they were to vacate it, the property would revert back to its actual owner, the County, since that is who owned it originally, but according to the agreement on the property, JMCSS has control over it until it relinquishes that control.

Gaugh’s motion to table failed 5-4, and after Marcia Moss asked a couple of questions clarifying ownership and the agreement itself, the MOU was approved by a vote of 7-2. Gaugh and Harvey Walden were the dissenting voters.

The Board also voted on a resolution to make a public stand against vouchers, which are currently being debated in the state legislature. That passed 6-3 with Gaugh, Moss and Walden dissenting.

One more unanimous vote the Board took was to nominate a student to the one student position on the state board of education. Kelsey Hicks will be the first-ever JMCSS student nominated for the statewide position. Hicks is a student at Jackson Central-Merry Early College High.

The Board also honored the top readers across the district as 293 combined students and teachers completed the Leap Up for Literacy Challenge with $500 gift cards and an iPad going to each of the elementary, middle school and high school winners. They will be able to use those cards in a shopping spree at Wal-Mart with King.

There were also 16 students added to the JMCSS ACT 30-plus club for those who’ve made at least a 30 out of 36 on the ACT. A total of 88 students have been inducted into the club since 2021.

Attendance report: All school board members were present and on time for the meeting and stayed until it ended at the 35-minute mark.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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