For Immediate Release: October 19, 2012
JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Board of Education (MBE) voted today to grant Jackson Public Schools (JPS) an extension until June 30, 2013 to come into full compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) before the withdrawal of accreditation if the district agrees to criteria outlined in a proposed agreement.
JPS has until Oct. 30 to agree to the following conditions or the district will lose accreditation on Nov. 1 as previously ordered by the Mississippi Commission on School Accreditation:
1) Dr. Lynn House, interim state superintendent of education, and Dr. Cedric Gray, JPS superintendent, will mutually agree upon an administrator of the corrective action plan who will work collaboratively with Gray and who will report directly to MDE.
2) The mutually agreed upon administrator of the corrective action plan will monitor compliance with IDEA and the expenditure of IDEA funds.
3) The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will withhold JPS IDEA funds until released for appropriate expenditures by the administrator of the corrective action plan working collaboratively with Gray.
4) JPS will ensure personnel concerns of the administrator of the corrective action plan will be addressed and resolved.
5) JPS will ensure that district personnel will work collaboratively with the administrator of the corrective action plan, MDE personnel and MDE consultants.
Dr. Wayne Gann, chairman of the Board, said the Board wanted to give the district the opportunity to address the concerns found during a November 2010 investigation in light of new leadership in the district.
“Federal law compels the Board to take steps to ensure that IDEA funds are expended appropriately and to the benefit of children. It’s the responsibility of the Board and MDE to make sure every child receives an appropriate education,” he said.