HomeNewsJMCSS Board hopeful to move on after 3rd budget approval

JMCSS Board hopeful to move on after 3rd budget approval

In a meeting that took a total of 16 minutes, the Jackson-Madison County School Board approved a third version of the school district’s budget for 2023-24 to be sent to the county commission.

The county commission rejected the second version on Tuesday by a vote of 17-8 and the first version was rejected on June 7 by the budget committee.

This version will be voted on by the county commission on June 30 with the intention of approving the entire budget for Madison County and avoiding a continuance, that would delay raises and other new expenditures by up to two months until the commission and school board came to an agreement.

The main difference in this version of the budget is the removal of $1.2 million in education capital that had been negotiated between JMCSS Superintendent Marlon King and the county commission budget committee on May 31.

King said he’d use that $1.2 million to purchase laptops for all the teachers in the district.

“I want it to be said here publicly that the removal of this education capital from the budget isn’t about laptops,” said JMCSS Board member Jason Compton.

To which King responded with confirmation.

“What I want the public and you all to understand is that it really isn’t about laptops, but about penny allocation,” King said in reference to the county commission’s approval of the property tax rates and allocation of those funds. “The county commission approved property taxes and penny allocations, and none of those pennies went to education capital.

“So there’s no need for us to make a budget for funds that aren’t allocated. And the county commission as a whole voted on this and approved this.”

Compton then moved to approve the budget, seconded by Andre Darnell and unanimously approved by the other three present board members – Sherry Franks, Chairman James “Pete” Johnson and Kenneth Newman.

King expressed relief at the approval of the budget and will take the opportunity to take a break for a few days.

Compton suggested he take as long as he can for a break before urging the rest of the board to take a breath as well in July while there are no board meetings and be ready to come back in August committed to doing their part in making sure students of JMCSS get the highest quality education they can and avoid distractions like they’ve dealt with the last couple months.

Johnson publicly acknowledged the eight county commissioners who voted to approve the budget in Tuesday’s commission meeting.

“I call them the ‘magnificent 8’ because they showed that they support Jackson-Madison County School System and want to see the district funded the way it needs to be,” Johnson said. “But hopefully we can move on now and continue the work of making sure the children of Jackson and Madison County get the education they need.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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