Lamar county school district hiring outside cleaning service, 44 layoffs

LAMAR COUNTY, MS. - The Lamar County School District (LCSD) hired an outside cleaning service which will layoff 44 current custodians.

Jani King, a commercial cleaning company, has been under contract with Oak Grove high school for years.

“And they do an outstanding job, the company is very easy to work with, the principal there is very happy" said Tess Smith LCSD Superintendent.

Since March two more schools with the LCSD also contracted the company.

Smith said, “And as other principals have visited up there (schools) and visited the concept, several of them were very interested in making this move." According to Smith, hiring an outside cleaning service will become less of load for school principals.

She said, "Because this also freezes them up now, they will not have any oversight over the custodians at all.” Smith added, "In the past we had a lead custodian, but the principal was still the manager and would have to oversee their duties."

Smith and school board members decided to expand Jani King services district wide. “And they felt that it was more cost effective to make that change" said Smith.

She continued, "So the following week I made a meeting with all the custodians because I wanted them to hear from me on what the plan was.” Smith said she will assist the custodians find other positions inside the district.

“I want them to be able to find a job with us" Smith said. "So they have five months, and I am thankful to say that several of them have found teacher assistant jobs.”

Jani King anticipates to begin its services in January. School custodians also have an option to work with the new cleaning company.

“So if they did that in January or that did not work out, and they found an opening with us later they will always be welcomed to come home" said Smith.

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