Jackson City Council slashes education funding; legislator calls for rescinding vote

The Jackson City Council has voted to stop sending revenue it get from a local option sales tax to the Jackson-Madison County School System, as has been the practice since the city school system merged with the county school system 28 year ago, reports the Jackson Sun.

The decision will save the city approximately $12 million to put in the general fund and the city plans to use that money for infrastructure projects.

Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris said after Thursday’s vote the county must raise its property tax by at least 28 to 30 percent to cover the cost… Madison County Commission will be required to make up the $12 million in lost revenue to put back into the Jackson-Madison County School System, because the school system by law cannot have less funding than the previous year.

State Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson, called on the council to rescind the vote in a news release statement published by the newspaper. Excerpt:

“This hasty decision to balance the city’s budget by defunding public education is a critical mistake that will have long-term negative effects. The debt maturity owes to youth is education. The debt the city owes should not be funded by sacrificing our schoolchildren that are not yet old enough to vote.”

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