JMCSS asks city of Jackson to fund new school building

JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson-Madison County Schools are asking the City Council to pay for a new school.

“I’m going to have an open mind, because I think we’re all in the business of education in a sense,” Councilman Johnny Dodd said.

“Originally I was kind of opposed to it,” Councilman Randy Wallace said. “I feel like the county funds the education system for the city, and the county’s the one that should actually pay it.”

Superintendent Dr. Eric Jones sat down with City Council members Friday to discuss his 10-year capital plan.

He specifically wants the city to fund moving Madison Academic to the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus.

“I think it’s an opportunity for the city to invest and continue to invest in education in a different manner,” Jones said.

Jones says the move could cost anywhere from $8 million to $10 million. Those against the city funding the move worry about city taxpayers.

“When you ask city taxpayers to pay, they’re getting double dipped because they’re paying for the education as a county,” Wallace said.

Councilman Wallace also says if they were to fund the move, they would have to cut some city services.

All three men say the community will play a part in what happens with the schools.

“The community is ultimately going to have to decide how they want to invest in the schools,” Jones said. “Because it’s the school system’s job to put the vision of the schools out there and execute that vision, but the community has to ultimately rally behind what they want for this community and where they want to invest their dollars.”

Jones’ plan also includes a new K-8 school in northwest Jackson and a new middle school in east Jackson.

The committee voted to meet again in the future after Dr. Jones has more specifics on how much exactly he would need from the city.

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