Gov. Bryant, Mayor Lumumba meet about possible JPS takeover

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Gov. Phil Bryant said he had the opportunity to meet with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba Wednesday to discuss the city’s school system.

Last, week, the Mississippi Board of Education asked Bryant to declare a state of emergency regarding issues plaguing Jackson Public Schools

Bryant said many elements are going into his decision-making process.

“We want to make sure that we know what the condition of the city of Jackson Public School system is now and that that wasn’t just a snapshot that occurred,” Gov. Bryant said.

He said his staff is going over a 700-page document from JPS.

Bryant said also met with JPS Interim Superintendent Dr. Freddrick Murray about the school district.

He said he has total confidence in state Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright and her staff, but this isn’t a rubber stamp of approval.

“Each time we take over a school, it’s not something I enjoy doing,” Gov. Bryant said. “It’s a burden to our state, a burden to our Department of Education. They have many duties that they have to carry on, so this will be an additional one. So absolutely, I’m very careful about entering into any takeover by the State of Mississippi.”

Below is a statement from Mayor Lumumba about his meeting with Bryant:

“I was appreciative to have met with Governor Bryant to discuss the future of Jackson Public Schools. The tone of the meeting was positive and encouraging. The Governor appears to be deliberating on the issue and observing all of the information placed before him from both the Mississippi Department of Education and Jackson Public Schools. We discussed alternatives that do not look at temporary shifts within JPS, but a sustainable model that best serves our children long term. We are committed to doing what is necessary to provide the best education for our students.”  — Mayor Lumumba

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