JPS Sets Up Bond Oversight Committee for $65 Million on Ballot Aug. 7 | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JPS Sets Up Bond Oversight Committee for $65 Million on Ballot Aug. 7

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees has created a Citizen's Oversight Committee to oversee the spending of bond funds, if the $65 million bond passes on Aug. 7.

The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees has created a Citizen's Oversight Committee to oversee the spending of bond funds, if the $65 million bond passes on Aug. 7. Photo by Arielle Dreher.

— If the $65-million bond passes on Aug. 7, the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees have framework in place to create a bond oversight committee.

The money will repair and renovate the 56 buildings in the district, and provide the necessary repairs to avoid the State taking over JPS, the JPS board says. If it passes, no taxes will increase, as the Jackson Free Press previously reported.

During public meetings, residents expressed a desire for oversight as to how the district will spend the bond money. At a special meeting on July 30, the JPS board established a Citizen's Oversight Committee, which will have seven members representing each of the City of Jackson's wards. Board members will appoint the oversight committee members from their respective wards, the resolution says.

The district will give the committee written updates about the finances and construction, as well as provide inspections of the construction sites when possible. One part of the committee's job includes informing communities about the use of bond funds. They are also supposed to bring the community's questions to the district.

However, the committee does not have any authority to make decisions regarding the use of funds.

"While neither Oversight Committee members nor the Oversight Community, as a whole, shall have any decision-making authority with regard to the selection of Bond-financed projects nor the manner or progress of construction of Bond-financed projects nor the expenditure of Bond funds, the Oversight Committee may raise questions or concerns associated with any or all of these for District administration and/or the Board," the resolution says.

The Citizen's Oversight Committee will remain in place until the completion of construction, or when the district spends all bond funds. The Board of Trustees can also dissolve the committee.

The bond election is Aug. 7. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Email Marie Weidmayer at marie@jacksonfreepress.com and read related coverage at jfp.ms/jpstakeover.

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