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Board unified in seeking clarity concerning County budget revisions


Appearing in his first board meeting since taking over as Superintendent of the Jackson-Madison County School System, Dr. Marlon King provided clarity on Thursday concerning the challenges the district will face in light of reopening schools during the Coronavirus pandemic. One issue discussed by school board members, and school board attorney Dale Thomas, was Madison County’s decision to reduce funding by more than $415,000 based on Average Daily Membership (ADM) despite population increase at the Pre-K level.


“Our superintendent explained in detail as to how he would like to handle the budget and we believe it is not in the best interest of our district to use the fund balance at this time,” board member Janice Hampton said. The current county budget decreases Maintenance of Effort (MOE) to Jackson-Madison County Schools. The board voted unanimously to approve total expenditures for the district's 2021 budget, with the stipulation of not accepting the County Commission's directive to use the district's fund balance to balance the budget. "We all realize that it is essential to provide our students with an effective learning opportunity this year. Our district needs the support and prayers of our entire community this year," board member Jim Campbell said. 


Deputy Superintendent Dr. Vivian Williams joined Catherine Korth, JMCSS Leader of Assessment & Accountability, to share results from the parent survey, and employee survey, as the district continues to develop a School New Normal Initiative (SNNI) to reopen schools.


“We were pleased to receive such a large number of responses to our parent and staff surveys, with the majority of families and teachers participating,” Korth said. “The majority of the survey responses favored a blended model of both in-person and remote learning on alternating days,” Dr. Williams said. 


Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ricky Catlett, appearing in his first board meeting since returning in JMCSS, honored the South Side High School boys basketball team for their 32-0 record this past season. Additionally, Casshawndra Sain was recognized for her service to students and families in her role as athletic director at South Side. Mrs. Sain was named Athletic Director of the Year by the TSSAA.