Mayor Lumumba nominates first JPS board member

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has settled upon his first nomination for the Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees and the City Council will confirm or deny his selection on Tuesday.

The city council meeting agenda lists an item to confirm “the nomination of Letitia Simmons Johnson to the Jackson Public Schools Board.”

Johnson is an attorney. Attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.

The board urgently needs an additional member — at a July 20 meeting officials announced that member Richard Lind resigned. His resignation left the board without a quorum, meaning they cannot hold meetings or conduct board business.

The next school board meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday as well, but the district rescheduled for the following week on Aug. 8.

Each member represents one of the city’s seven wards, and they are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council.

According to resignation letters obtained by Mississippi Today, Lind resigned because city council member Aaron Banks informed him that “state law does not allow me to live in ward 4 and serve as a ward 6 member. ” Lind, who was recently elected board president, said he was not aware of the law and stepped down because he realized it was important to have each ward represented by one of its own residents.

Former board member Kimberly Campbell resigned on May 30 because her job as state director of AARP causes her to “travel extensively every month. And while I do believe in sacrificing for our community and beloved JPS Children, I cannot give the district my best efforts,” her letter of resignation said.

Kodi Hobbs also resigned from the board, citing “the overwhelming and growing needs of my family and professional duties” which forced him to re-prioritize his commitments, according to his letter of resignation. His resignation went into effect June 15.

Former board president Beneta Burt’s term ended June 30, meaning Lumumba has the opportunity to fill four spots — a majority — on the school board.