School Board Candidate

Dr. Jacob McMillian


Father of Four SJSD Students Husband of a SJSD 1st Grade Teacher Good News Club Director at Hosea and Pickett Elementaries PTA Board Member at Pickett Elementary for 5 years Served on Vision Forward Committee for SJSD Lead Pastor at Journey Baptist Church Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Preaching


Our Candidate Summary

Socially Conservative
Fiscal Conservative

These assessments are based on the answers or lack of answers supplied by the candidates. Jacob McMillian’s responses indicate a socially conservative and fiscally conservative position.

Jacob on the Issues

Why have you decided to run for the Saint Joseph School Board?

As a father of four SJSD students, I want SJSD to offer a quality education that produces productive and high-character citizens for our community. I understand the school district’s crucial role in our children’s development. As a spouse of an SJSD teacher, I want to encourage and equip teachers as they do their invaluable tasks and worthy calling. As a school volunteer at Pickett and Hosea, I want to help widen and deepen the live-changing impact I have witnessed in the schools by the custodial staff, cafeteria staff, support staff, admins, and teachers.

What are the strengths you will bring to the school board?

Vision Leadership
Effective Communication
Strategic Planning
Financial Stewardship
Community building and engagement
Critical thinker with a servant’s heart

What can be done to address the poor English proficiency and Math Proficiency scores that are being generated by kids in our school system? English scores reflect that students are only 32% proficient and math scores are coming in at 38% proficient --- both below the state average.

Classroom behavior- We need to protect and provide safe and disciplined environments for learning. We cannot allow one or two students to disrupt the learning environment. I would like to see a commitment to improve student conduct. Teaching to testing standards- We need to make sure that our curriculum and lessons plans are being geared towards the concepts that are on the testing standards. We need every teacher to align their instructional hours with testing standards. That has to be the priority. Recruiting and Retaining excellent teachers- The teacher is a huge variable to the quality of education that a child receives. We need to make sure that we are making our teaching positions as competitive as we can and making our district as appealing as we can. There are many ideas I would like to explore when it comes to teacher satisfaction: student conduct, compensation, teacher/student ratios, and casting a vision to created stability for employees. Reading by third grade- We need to make sure that any kid leaving the third grade can read to grade level. The ability to read unlocks future learning. If a child is not reading by third grade, holding the student back needs to be explored. Children must be able to read if they are going to test well and learn well.

Where do you stand on the 4-day/week school schedule proposal?

I am not a never-ever on the four-day week, but it should be a last resort. If we ever need to pull the parachute of a four-day week, we must present a complete and more comprehensive plan than the board presented this year. As I have said earlier in the survey, there are other avenues to increase teacher satisfaction without making the kids lose a day of educational experience. Teacher satisfaction can be improved through compensation, student conduct, student/teacher classroom ratio, buy-back programs for sick/personal days, hiring more full-time subs, and establishing a master plan that creates employee stability.

Do you understand the District's Annual Budget, and what are your plans to get your arms around the details of that budget and evaluate where and how Tax taxpayer dollars are being spent?

I understand where the money comes from regarding local, state, and federal funding. Regarding the budget, I would like more discussions and questions to be asked throughout the year. I fear that the only financial issues discussed are the ones that come from the administration. I plan on asking questions throughout the year to help shape budget decisions made in the spring. I want the board to work on the budget more than just approving it. The board needs to have work sessions and discussions before approving it. We must ensure that our budget is allocated and aligned with our desires such as teacher compensation and building staff. I would like to know the top five most expensive budget items that are elective rather than necessary. That answer shows us our priorities.

Where do you stand on the proposed Bond Renewal of $20 million when the District Administration has no impactful plan to utilize that money to better educate our children? Passing that bond issue would cost the taxpayers 26 cents per $100 of access property value- approximately $3.2 million annually.

The better way to consider the cost is 50 dollars for every 100,000 dollars of market value. I support the bond issue because the improvements can serve the district for years. The bond is impacting the students in several ways: child safety at two elementary schools with new roads better learning environment at Hosea with expansion better intercom systems district-wide for safety and better communication in buildings child safety with sidewalks improve extra-curricular experiences: turf fields, tracks, and fine arts improving learning environments through HVAC projects

What is your position on general levy Tax increases to increase the school district's annual budget?

It is easier to take a position on passing a levy by knowing precisely what the money will be allocated to. I would like to see the board review the current budget and identify any relocating that is necessary before going to the public for more money. Can we relocate 5% of the current budget towards building staff/teacher salaries? The board should ask the administration to present possible items that could be reallocated to salaries before asking the public for more money. However, the bottom line is that we must increase our compensation for all building staff and teachers. We have to make those jobs more appealing to retain and recruit people for those positions. If the money cannot be found in the current budget, I would support a levy for building staff, teachers, and bus drivers.

What is your position on the current redistricting proposal?

Boundaries need to be adjusted, but a master plan must first be in place. We need a long-range plan that starts from the top (high schools) and then creates a feeder plan based on that decision. Once a master plan is in place, boundaries must be addressed.

What is your position on the proposal to build one or two new high schools replacing the three older facilities that currently exist?

My position on two or three schools starts with realizing that we must choose now. We can’t keep pushing this decision out because it impacts other aspects of the district too much. At the same time, the number of high schools is not as significant as offering the same educational experience at every high school. We cannot continue to provide differing experiences and classes from school to school. Education has to drive this decision. So, for me, we need to do something to offer top-quality education to every kid in every area of town without using open enrollment. Also, I think we have too much space in the buildings now. We don’t have enough students to fill the three buildings. Running an empty building is not fiscally wise. If we are going to advance our class offerings, hiring two AP teachers for an advanced class is more manageable than hiring three. Staffing is easier with two buildings than with three. That said, I favor two high schools, with the priority of building a new high school for the south.

What is your approach to school safety? What is your position on metal detectors, security guards, and safety training for our teachers and administrators?

School safety needs to be a priority for the district. Our community needs to be assured that our schools are safe. We need to do regular safety audits of our buildings and procedures. I am supportive of any measure that is shown to improve the safety of our students and staff.

How do you feel about the current approach to special education within the school district?

I have an 8th grader who has a vision disability and is on an IEP. The district does an excellent job of helping him succeed in his academics. We have to be committed to helping every child learn. Identifying a child’s obstacles and putting a plan together is a responsibility of the district and one we should embrace.

What do you see as the most significant challenges teachers face within the district?

Compensation (feeling valued), student conduct (feeling safe and supported), student/teacher classroom ratios (improved learning environments).

Compensation: review budget reallocation and place levy on ballot if necessary Student conduct: students who disrupt the learning environment or kick/spit/hit a teacher must be removed. Cannot sacrificed the quality of our learning environments and teacher safety for one or two disruptive students.

Classroom ratios: Doing our best to keep the ratio as low as possible. Lower discipline issues and better test scores can are more likely in smaller classes.

What will be your approach to working with the school district administration?

I will educate myself on the topics discussed and come prepared to ask the right questions. As a critical thinker, I will carefully discern their recommendations, making sure their choices are best for the students, and consider tax-payers, parents, and teachers/staff. I will remain level-headed and respectful when interacting with them in meetings. I will hold them accountable for the policies that the board puts in place. I will maintain an open line of communication with crucial administration leaders.

Do you support transgender-inclusive or lgbtq+ policies for schools such as bathroom and locker room inclusion based on someone's preferred gender?

When it comes to bathrooms and locker rooms, biological sex determines which facility a student uses.

Would you encourage the introduction of materials into the school system based on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other "woke" ideologies?

I do not support critical race theory and its teaching within our district. Concerning woke ideologies, the district must utilize a curriculum that teaches math, science, reading, English, and history without a political agenda. Our community is diverse and we need to respect all parents by utilizing a curriculum that doesn’t promote or criticize one lifestyle over another. There are plenty of politically neutral curriculums for core subjects. There is no reason to teach or emphasize one worldview over another. The Board of Education must stick to educating kids without political leanings.

What is your position on notifying parents if a child is considering something harmful to their bodies – whether it is gender-related or other? What will you do about the current movement to limit a parent's involvement?

I am an advocate of parental rights. Parents need to be informed and involved in their children’s educational experiences. Anytime a child sees a counselor or seeks guidance from a staff member beyond instructional material, the parent should be notified. With multiple worldviews in our community, the district must honor parental oversight and rights in areas beyond the core curriculum. Parents should be able to trust the district to honor their worldview in areas of religion, sexuality, and literature. My position on parental rights and books is that parents should be notified of the books their children read in class and check out. There is no reason we cannot send email notifications concerning the books that children are reading.

Here is a link to the letter I submitted to the board concerning this item:!AsEPoyDs4AyugsBV3GEXNP75LzQFTA?e=qi4tBU

Any additional information?

My Vision as a Board Member Reinforce core academics excellence Upholding parental rights in education Advocating for fiscal responsibility promoting safe and discipline school environments championing character and civic education recruiting and retaining excellent staff

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel