October Message from the Superintendent: Vote on October 19

Dear JPPSS Families and Community Members,

I want to be sure that you are aware of an important election coming up for the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) on October 19, 2013. On this date, Jefferson Parish residents will be asked to renew the 7 mills property tax for our school system.

The millage produces about $23 million in day-to-day operating funds and is critical to JPPSS in many ways. The loss of this existing stream of funding would have a drastic impact on classroom and school operations, as it pays for essentials such as teacher salaries, pre-kindergarten classes, and arts, music, and athletics programs. The millage, which has been in place for the past 20 years, costs the average homeowner in Jefferson Parish (with a home value of $150,000) about 14 cents per day to ensure that our students have access to a quality education.

Thanks to your support thus far, the Jefferson Parish Public Schools have experienced tremendous growth, especially over the past few years. We are one of the fastest growing districts in the state in all academic areas. In the past two years, 40 of our schools have improved at least one letter grade. More than 30,000 students have moved from D and F schools to higher performing schools. In the past two years, we have more than doubled the number of A and B schools from 13 in 2011 to 29 in 2013.

The millage renewal has been endorsed by the editorial boards of the New Orleans Advocate and the Times-Picayune, Sheriff Newell Normand, and the Bureau of Governmental Research. We have also received endorsements from numerous officials and organizations in Jefferson Parish, including the Kenner Professional Business Association, the Jefferson Business Council, the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, and the Kenner City Council.

I hope you will agree that public education is important not just for those families who send their children to public schools, but for all Jefferson Parish residents. The quality of education directly affects the economic development, crime levels, and quality of life in Jefferson Parish – and that’s why we need the support of every community member in order to continue to improve and serve our students.

We have much more information on the millage renewal on our website at including a short video, which can be seen here:

Thank you for your support of Jefferson Parish Public Schools. Please remember to vote on October 19.


Dr. James Meza, Jr.