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MDE, JPS Will Begin Process of Implementing Action Steps for IDEA Compliance

by Betty Ezelle | Oct 31, 2012

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: October 30, 2012

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and the Jackson Public School District (JPS) reached an agreement Tuesday that will grant JPS an extension until June 30, 2013 to come into full compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The Mississippi Board of Education (MBE) voted Oct. 19 to grant the extension on the condition of certain terms detailed in a memorandum of agreement. 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.

“We are pleased that the Jackson School Board approved of the agreement with MDE, and now we can move forward with a corrective action plan to assist the district in achieving full compliance with IDEA,” said Dr. Wayne Gann, chairman of the Board. “We believe that working collaboratively to achieve compliance is in the best interest of the students at JPS.”

As part of the agreement, Dr. Lynn House, interim state superintendent of education, and Dr. Cedrick 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.

The administrator will monitor compliance with IDEA and the expenditure of IDEA funds. MDE will withhold JPS IDEA funds until released for appropriate expenditures by the administrator.

Also, JPS will ensure personnel concerns of the administrator will be addressed and resolved, and the district will ensure that personnel will work collaboratively with the administrator, MDE personnel and MDE consultants.

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