When the public thinks of the Jackson Public School District, they think of our nearly 24,000 students who are offered quality education on a daily basis. However, in order to support the instructional process, a business operation must exist. In addition to educating the second largest student population in the state, JPS is a huge business with a total budget of $308 million and nearly 4,000 employees. The District ranks fourth in the Jackson Metro Area in total number of employees. It is the job of the Business Office to administer the receipt and expenditure of all the funding related to the district's operation, which includes the Financial Services functions (Accounts Payable, Employee Benefits, Payroll, and Fiscal Accounting), and the Internal Services functions (Purchasing, Warehousing, and Property Accounting).
During the summer months, the Business Office is involved in preparing for the upcoming school year and readying records for the annual audit which is conducted either by the State Auditor's Office or a private accounting firm. Because the District operates on a fiscal cycle which begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year, approval of the budget is paramount before expenditures for the forthcoming year can begin. Hence, it is during the summer that the purchasing function is in "full-swing" seeing that the needed items are purchased and delivered in time to coincide with the beginning of the school year. As soon as the school year ends, the accounting department begins to finalize the process to ensure that the books for the previous year are satisfactorily closed while looking to the future concerning transactions which begin July 1 of each year. The warehouse is busy taking inventory and satisfying all audit requirements concerning the inventory. Fixed Assets closes out the year, balancing all assets which were purchased and retired during the year. All areas of the Business Services prepare reports of year-end activity to the Board of Trustees.
- Once commodities/goods/services are satisfactorily received in the schools or administrative offices from vendors, signed and dated copies of the same document (Purchase Order/Proof of Delivery–POD) which was used to place the order is then used in the accounts payable process. There are checks and balances inherent in the process to ensure that all vendors are paid accurately and in a timely manner for all commodities, goods, and services provided.
- Travel Request, In-District Mileage, and Travel Reimbursement forms are submitted with valid budget strings, supporting documentation, supervisor signature, and if applicable, the funding division approval signature to the Accounts Payable Department. All travelers are required to submit a Travel Direct Deposit form with a voided check for reimbursement. The Travel Manual is available on the Intranet at https://www.jackson.k12.ms.us/cms/lib/MS01910533/Centricity/domain/68/documents_pdfs/ap_travel_manual.pdf
The Board offers a Cafeteria Plan to all District personnel, which includes medical coverage, dental plans, and other opportunities. Additionally, employees of the District have the opportunity to choose from twenty-three approved vendors which specialize in tax-sheltered annuities, nine other insurance vendors which offer a variety of coverage with group rates, and other services which can be purchased. For a full description of employee benefits, please see the Benefits page under Human Resources.
The accounting function incorporates a cash management system and the investing of the District's funds to maximize investments and interest earnings. This includes the use of sweep accounts and repurchase agreements to ensure that the taxpayer's dollars earn the maximum interest possible and that they do not remain idle. JPS utilizes computerized, full-service financial and cash management services from the two largest financial institutions in the city. Other fiscal responsibilities of the accounting area include the administering of funds for federal projects, lunchroom funds, activity funds in the schools, and all other general funds of the District. The Business Services must maintain accurate records in order to reconcile bank statements and prepare financial statements as required by the Board of Trustees as well as state and federal regulations.
All District employees, totaling more than 4,000, are now paid on a monthly basis. This includes substitute teachers and part-time personnel. As mandated by state statue, all employees are also now paid by direct deposit. These transactions are generated in-house utilizing the District's financial accounting system.