Thursday, June 15, 2017
JACKSON The Jackson Public School District will be down three Board of Trustees members by the end of June, meaning Mayor-elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba will be responsible for filling the board once he takes office July 3.
JPS is in the midst of a full audit by the Mississippi Department of Education, and district leaders, along with the board, are tasked with fixing several issues in the corrective action plan. JPS, like all districts statewide, also must work on how to deal with a reduction in state funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for next school year's budget.
Kimberly Campbell, who represented Ward 2 on the board, resigned at the end of May. She told the Jackson Free Press that the main reason she stepped down was due to the large amount of travel she had to do with her new job as the state director of AARP in Mississippi.
Campbell is often in Washington, D.C., for her job, she said, and she missed several board meetings as a result. Campbell, a former Mississippi House representative, left the Legislature after the 2016 session for new job. Mayor Tony Yarber appointed her to the board that August.
"I've said that sometimes the way I view things was not always in line with other board members ..., (and) JPS needs everybody to get on the same page," she said in an interview. "I really want the district to do well."
Kodi Hobbs, who represented Ward 1 on the board, tendered his resignation this month, which goes into effect today. He told the Jackson Free Press he resigned for personal and professional reasons—mainly that his family just sold their Jackson home and is moving to Madison County. Hobbs owns and operates his own insurance agency.
"It was nothing negative or (anything about) JPS," Hobbs said. "It was all just personal reasons with my business and with my family ... leaving the city of Jackson."
Both Campbell and Hobbs were Yarber appointees. Hobbs' term was not set to expire until 2020; Campbell's term would not have expired until 2021.
Board of Trustees President Beneta Burt's term also ends on June 30. She has served on the board since 2012 and represents Ward 3. The mayor appoints and the city council confirms board members to serve five-year terms. Board policy states that the term of office begins on the first Saturday of July after a June appointment.
Email state reporter Arielle Dreher at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @arielle_amara.
Read more stories on Jackson Public Schools at jfp.ms/jps.