Campaign starts to make Jacksonville their own school district

Jacksonville (KATV) - There is one last step in Jacksonville's fight to become its own school district: voting to make it a reality. For 36 years, Jacksonville has made measures to separate itself from the Pulaski Special School District. Monday night kicked off an Education Corps campaign with a public meeting where 400 people were in attendance. "This is one of the biggest things to happen to Jacksonville since Little Rock Air Force Base located here," said Committee Chairman and Spokesperson of Education Corps Daniel Gray. Education Corps is a leading effort in making Jacksonville its own school district. The potential new district would serve around 4,000 students at 10 schools. Gray said some Jacksonville schools have seen better days. "We've seen Maumelle's high school being built for $75 million, our schools are falling apart," said Gray. With the research of five feasibility plans over a 36 year period, Education Corps was able to show those at the public meeting how having their own school district would impact tax payers. The Education Corps said if Jacksonville becomes their own school district, they'll be able to expand curriculum and improve school facilities. With their own school board, they'll be able to make their own decision keeping parents closer to the issues, and 100% tax revenue is expected to stay in Jacksonville schools. As for the millage rate, the Education Corps said it will stay at 40.7. "This is about our children, our children deserve better. They're our children and they need to be our schools," said Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher. During Monday's public meeting, a collection was held to fund the campaign and around $4,000 was raised. A vote will be on September 16, with early voting starting September 9.