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Jackson (Mississippi) district is closing 13 schools

Dec. 21, 2023
The board voted to close or consolidate campuses to respond to significant enrollment drops.

The Jackson (Mississippi) school board has voted to close 13 schools.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that the 5-1 vote to close campuses came after months of deliberations and community forums discussing the district's optimization plan. 

Before voting in favor of the plan, Board Member Barbara Hilliard expressed how difficult the decision was. But ultimately, she said it needed to be done.

“How long can we just keep putting off what needs to be done, should’ve been done?” Hilliard said. “We’ve made good strides, and I don’t want to see us go backwards because we’re trying to stretch out something that’s really not there.” 

These schools will be closed or consolidated:

  • Dawson Elementary School (closed)
  • Lake Elementary School (closed)
  • Lester Elementary School (closed)
  • Marshall Elementary School (closed)
  • Raines Elementary School (closed)
  • Sykes Elementary School (closed)
  • Shirley Elementary School (closed)
  • G.N. Smith Elementary School (closed)
  • Obama Elementary School (consolidated with Northwest IB)
  • Wells APAC Elementary School(consolidated with Bailey APAC)
  • Chastain Middle School (closed)
  • Whitten Middle School (closed)
  • Wingfield High School (closed)

The closing schools will shutter in advance of the 2024-25 school year.

The optimization plan was proposed by Superintendent Errick Greene in October. The main reasons for the plan are declining enrollment, expensive investments in the school's facilities and issues with staffing teachers.

Of the 55 Jackson Public Schools, 16 were initially recommended for closure, including 13 elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Greene recommended cutting down the list to 13 during the Dec. 5 Board of Trustees meeting.

The 2015-16 school year saw a total of 27,267 students enrolled. Last year's enrollment was 18,773. 

 

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