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Jackson County School District looking at other funding after proposed bond voted down

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) -Jackson County’s school board met Monday night to discuss plans on how to move forward with making improvements to its schools. Two months ago, residents voted against a $67 million school improvement bond. The board is now working to figure out funding to follow through with planned projects.

“We need to move forward with facilities,” said Jackson County Superintendent John Strycker.

Strycker is looking at alternate routes to improve all schools within the district.

“Roofing, electrical, mechanical, plumbing,” Strycker listed, saying those are just some of the basic needs that will cost around $40 million.

“You can put, for example, we have about $12 to $14 million of immediate roofing needs,” he said. “You can put that money into those projects, and people don’t even see what you did because, again, when they drive by, it’s nothing exciting like a new building or anything like that.”

Without the bond, the district now plans to use both general and federal funds.

“For example, the Board of Education for the past recent years has taken $2 million from the general fund and transferring it for capital projects, which is facility projects. So we will continue to do that, but that’s $2 million a year,” he said.

With big projects in mind and core needs, Strycker said trying to accumulate general fund money to equal the bond amount will take years to do.

“You can do the math on $2 million divided by $67 million, it will take years to accomplish the projects we want to accomplish, 30 or 35 years,” Strycker said. “So we need to look at how much general fund money we’re using for facility projects.”

In order to move forward, the district plans to communicate more with people in the community with hopes in the future a bond will pass.

“Nonetheless, we need to obviously listen to what our community feels the needs are for the children regarding facilities and doing a better job communicating what we within the school feel the needs are,” Strycker said.

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