JACKSON, Mississippi — The Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees has extended Superintendent Cedrick Gray's three-year contract another year.
The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/1CTCol5) the board also voted Wednesday to award Gray a $5,000 merit-based salary increase.
Gray is currently paid $200,000 annually. Gray, who oversees the largest urban district in the state, is currently the highest paid superintendent according to the latest data.
Board members cited Wednesday an increased district performance and growth and a high performance evaluation for the extension.
Gray's contract is automatically renewed for an additional year contingent upon positive evaluation by the board, which conducted in February.
"There's been an increase in parent participation in parent-teacher student activities, and Dr. Gray has made a very positive impact on the culture of the district," Board President Otha Burton said of Gray's accomplishments.
In the past year, the number of JPS schools rated 'F' by the education department have decreased from 17 to eight, and the number of discipline incidents compared to this time last year have dropped by 1,000.
Gray also said the graduation rate of the district has increased from 64 percent to 65.1 percent from the 2012-2013 school year to the 2013-2014 year.
Although the district's overall rating has retained its 'D' rating during the past three years, board members expressed their belief that Gray is on the right track.
Gray has also led the implementation of the Academies of Jackson program, which aims to create small learning communities that focus on high school freshmen. As part of the program, all JPS 9th graders received MacBook Air laptops this year.
Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com