Among hiring a new superintendent, threat of losing accreditation, and, now, plans to rezone the district, MPB's Daniel Cherry reports Jackson Public Schools are taking on some massive changes.

" /> Jackson Public Schools Facing Several Major Hurdles | News | Mississippi Public Broadcasting
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Jackson Public Schools Facing Several Major Hurdles

By Daniel Cherry | Published 02 May 2012 06:31pm | comments

Among hiring a new superintendent, threat of losing accreditation, and, now, plans to rezone the district, MPB's Daniel Cherry reports Jackson Public Schools are taking on some massive changes.

Jackson Public Schools is Mississippi's 2nd largest school district, and leaders are facing several major hurdles. JPS recently told parents they'll be rezoning the district. Shmea Kelly has two children in Jackson Schools and she's expecting both to change schools when rezoning takes place. Between hiring a superintendent and the threat of sanctions from the state department of education, Kelly thinks JPS officials have enough on their plate already.

"You also have Common Core coming down. You have Career Pathways and a sex education curriculum. So how is all of that going to impact the rezoning as well? So it's just a whole lot that the district has to look at right now."

Many parents are concerned about moving their children to new schools. Eric Stringfellow is a spokesman for Jackson Schools' rezoning efforts. He says district officials are doing their best to make a smooth transition.

"When you're telling a parent who's son or daughter is a junior and they're not going to be there for their senior year. You apologize to them. You understand the sensitivity of it, but say,'We think this is best.'"

District officials say the move will save money and improve JPS special education, which is the main concern for state education officials who are reviewing the district's accreditation status. Interim Superintendent Dr. Jayne Sargent says she wants to get rezoning done before the new superintendent comes in from out of state.

"How could you ask for a young person coming in here who doesn't know this community, has never lived in this community, to come in and make these kinds of decisions? I think that's tremendously unfair."

This will be the first time Jackson Schools have been rezoned since the early 80s. 

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