Mark Morgan was elected to the JPPSS School Board in 2004, and since then has been elected president in 2008, 2016, and 2018 by his peers. While on the board, Morgan has made it his mission to be an advocate for both students and teachers alike. After Katrina, he worked to make sure that teachers were paid for their time off and he is currently working to ensure that Jefferson Parish teachers are paid as much as teachers in other parishes. Morgan has always been an independent swing voter in the Jefferson Parish school system and he considers himself a consensus builder.
Morgan has also done significant work for students and has worked to negotiate a deal that would allow Jefferson Parish school to use a building at the New Orleans Motorsports facility, in Avondale, as a full-time trade school experience. Students that attend this school would learn a trade and be able to graduate from high school and have the skills to enter a high-paying trade job. Morgan has made it his goal to create more opportunities for students to get trade jobs that will ensure that their future is secure. As many as 14 career-development areas are being planned at the facility.
Under the guidance of newly-elected, Jefferson Parish Public School System Superintendent, Dr. Cade Brumley, the Jefferson Parish school system went through a complete overhaul and went from a “C” rated system to an “A” rated system. Dr. Brumley came in with a 100-day plan to fix the system and crack down on the misuse of funds that had plagued the JPPSS and was able to unify the Jefferson Parish school curriculum between the East Bank and the West Bank. According to the Times Picayune, over the next year, Brumley plans to focus on the district’s strengths including educators, community partners and diversity, so that challenges such as school discipline and employee and teacher pay may be addressed.
Now, Morgan and Brumley are ready to ensure that teachers are paid fairly and support is building for a pay increase for educators. Morgan and Brumley admit that Jefferson Parish loses teachers every year to other parishes, simply because they are not being paid enough. The plan is to pass a millage increase that will fund raises for teachers and staff. Through recent reorganization, $1.3 million in administrative costs were cut and those funds were redirected into a pay raise for employees. According to WVUE, school officials are hoping to have a plan in place and seek a millage increase to pay for teacher pay raises, perhaps as early as next May. The JPPSS also has a plan in place for a $700 million facility upgrade, as soon as teacher pay raises is addressed.