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Guide to PRO- and ANTI-Public Education Legislation 

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2018 Legislative Session

2018 Priority Bills - Descriptions and Status

Contact Information for Legislators

Check Legislators' Voting Records

Reserve a Speaker for Your PTO or Civic Group

Looking for legislators' contact information? Click here to find phone numbers, email addresses, and social media information for all of the legislators who represent your school district.

To see the status of our priority bills in the 2018 Legislative Session, click here.

2018 Accountability Ratings Released

Posted 10/11/2018

School and district accountability ratings for the 2017-2018 school year were released today. Find the grades assigned to your school and district. See more news here

Accountability Review Set for October 10

Posted 9/26/2018

Mississippi's school and district accountability model will be reviewed by the State Board of Education at a public work session on October 10 at 2 p.m. The review was inspired by numerous concerns expressed to the Board about our state's system of awarding A-F ratings to schools and districts.  Read more.

Accountability Ratings Delayed by State Board of Ed

Posted 9/20/2018

The State Board of Education has voted to delay consideration of school and district accountability ratings until its October meeting. Some board members expressed a desire to spend more time reviewing the ratings and considering the numerous public comments they received. Read more.

Public Comments on Resetting of Cut Scores

Posted 9/17/2018

Today is the deadline to submit public comments to the State Board of Education about MDE's proposal to reset high school cut scores, once again using percentile rankings to award accountability grades. Comments will be considered by the board prior to accountability ratings being adopted at Thursday's board meeting. Send your comments to: Mr. Alan Burrow, Director, Office of District and School Performance, Email:, Fax: 601-359-1979.

Read the comments submitted by The Parents' Campaign.

Stakes Higher for Elementary Students This Year

Posted 9/13/2018

If you have a child in kindergarten through third grade, you will want to attend an important meeting in which MDE will share information and strategies to help parents prepare their children for the new, higher standards that third-grade students must meet to be promoted to grade four. Beginning this year, students must score at Level Three or higher on the state reading test to be promoted to fourth grade. In previous years, students had to score at Level Two or higher to be promoted. See meeting dates, locations, and other details here.

Input Invited: MDE Considers Accountability Changes

Posted 8/29/2018

The State Board of Education is considering resetting cut scores, once again, which could affect the accountability rating for your high school. The MDE is required to accept public comments on any proposed change in the accountability system. Public comments are due no later than September 17. See details on proposed changes and instructions on submitting public comments.

2018 State Test Scores Bring Good News

Posted 8/16/2018

State assessment results have been released and the news is good. Students showed improvement in every grade and subject area, with more students scoring in the top three proficiency levels and fewer scoring in levels one and two. See how your school and district fared

School Choice Antithetical to Public Education

Posted 7/16/2018

Christopher Lubienski, co-author of "The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools," speaks on the myths and deceptions of school choice and competition: "...research shows some negative effects from competition, where schools compete often by excluding students...very much antithetical to the idea of public education." Watch short video clip.

Wow! Great News About Mississippi Public Schools

Posted 5/8/2018

Mississippi's public school teachers are amazing, and our most recent national test scores prove it! Over the last decade, our students have outpaced the nation in improvement on NAEP, but the really great news comes when we dig a little deeper. Read the details. It's Teacher Appreciation Week - thank your classroom heroes today!

Thanks teachers

Pro-public Education Wave Sweeping Across Mississippi and U.S.

Posted 5/2/2018

Public school supporters across the country  are taking to the streets to demand that their elected officials put their money where their mouths are when it comes to strengthening public schools. Educators are using their "teacher voices" as they march on their state capitols and head to the polls, demanding higher salaries and better funding for their public schools. Read about the #RedforEd movement and what it could mean for Mississippi.

It's a Wrap! Here's Our Take...

Posted 3/28/2018

Congratulations, SUPERHERO! Today, the Mississippi House and Senate adjourned the 2018 Regular Legislative Session sine die, closing out a session in which parents, educators, public school supporters, and legislators STOOD UP together to protect our children and their public schools. Read our session wrap-up here.

thank you heroes

K-12 Appropriation for FY2019 Passed by House and Senate

Posted 3/26/2018

Today, the Mississippi House and Senate passed HB 1592, the K-12 funding bill that increases the overall K-12 appropriation by $12.8-million, including a $3.1-million increase for the MAEP and $2.5-million more for pre-k. We are told that a large share of the credit for these increases goes to House Education Chairman Richard Bennett. We are thankful for his leadership. We are making progress, but our public schools, and the children they serve, remain at a significant disadvantage: HB 1592 underfunds the MAEP for FY2019 by approximately $240-million; school district funding for next year is $37-million less than schools got two years ago; and Mississippi schools still receive about $1,300 less per student than do schools in our neighboring states. Read more.

K-12 Funding Bill a Win for Children

Posted 3/25/2018, 10:15 p.m.

Good news on the K-12 funding agreement reached tonight by conferees: while the final conference report doesn't include all that we asked for, it does increase the overall appropriation by $12.8-million, including an increase in MAEP of $3.1-million. Thanks to superhero legislators, parents, and teachers who pulled together to improve the outlook for public schools. See overview here.

Need Calls on K-12 Funding Bill

Posted 3/24/2018, 10:30 p.m.

Appropriations update: Conferees have not come to an agreement on the K-12 funding bill, so a "dummy" placeholder bill was filed to meet tonight's 8 p.m. deadline. The hang-up appears to be over whether or not to provide a slight increase in the MAEP - the core funding for teachers and classrooms. After this evening's deadline, Lt. Gov. Reeves opined that K-12 should receive an increase in other line items but NOT in the MAEP. Get the details here.

School Funding Bill Deadline This Weekend

Posted 3/23/2018

School funding for the 2018-2019 school year will be decided in the next few days; your legislators need to hear from you on HB 1592, the K-12 appropriations bill. Ask them to stand with our public school children one more time and ensure them at least the $8.2-million above level funding that was promised earlier in the session. Read more.

Will MAEP Funds Be Cut in Retaliation for Defeat of School Funding Rewrite?

Posted 3/20/2018

 When the House passed its version of the K-12 appropriation bill, it provided an increase of $8.2-million over current-year funding for the MAEP. However, after the Senate killed HB 957, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves implied that the appropriation for public schools likely would be reduced, seemingly in retaliation for the defeat of the school funding law rewrite. See related video/audio clips and read more.

Threats, Coercion, and the School Funding Rewrite

Posted 3/12/2018

 Legislators in both parties are speculating that the leadership will hold the appropriations, transportation, and bond bills in conference and use them as leverage to flip enough votes to pass HB 957, threatening to kill important projects in districts of legislators who don’t agree to support this dreadful bill and offering sweetheart deals to those who do. Tell your legislators that public school supporters stand with legislators who stand up to bullies and with our children. Read more.

Will Leadership Resurrect HB 957, Overrule Voters?

Posted 3/6/2018

 Word at the Capitol is that there's a move afoot to resurrect HB 957 and ram it through the Legislature in a special session. Sources tell us that Lt. Gov. Reeves is applying tremendous pressure to senators to flip the votes of our HERO legislators who helped kill HB 957.  Read more.

A Big Win for Mississippi Children!

Posted 3/1/2018

Wow! Your State Senate came through for our children big time today: HB 957 is dead. During debate on the bill, Sen. Hob Bryan made a procedural motion which, if passed, would kill the bill. That motion passed on a vote of 27-21. Join us in thanking senators who stood up for public school children today. See vote report and read more.

RED ALERT: HB 957 Slashes Special Education Funding

Posted 2/28/2018

The latest revelation about the devastating nature of HB 957 is that it will slash funding for children with special needs. HB 957 would send 102 school districts even LESS special education funding than they got this year. The leadership says this bill is good for students. How could it possibly be good for students to pass a law that would give them LESS of everything that school funding provides? Read more. The Senate is likely to vote on the bill Thursday, March 1. Ask senators to vote NO on HB 957! 

RED ALERT: School Funding Rewrite Headed to Senate Floor

Posted 2/27/2018

It's now or never, friends! It's time for moms, dads, and educators to stand up, speak out, and let our legislators know that we will not stand by while they devastate our public schools. HB 957 passed out of committee today and is headed to the Senate floor. Ask your senator to vote NO!  Read about the dangers this bill poses to Mississippi's public school students.

Senate Version of HB 957 Indicates Additional Losses

Posted 2/26/2018

The Senate version of HB 957 will be considered by the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. The version indicates that the Legislature's intent is to withhold almost $100-million in Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding, in addition to the $292-million in losses already reported. Ask members of the Education Committee to vote NO on HB 957. Read more

Senate Ed Comm. Meets on School Funding Rewrite

Posted 2/21/2018

Today the Senate Education Committee met with EdBuild representative Rebecca Sibilia about HB 957. The bottom line? They have not been providing an apples-to-apples comparison of the new proposal vs. MAEP. The truth is that the funding provided for school districts in HB 957 is worse than an underfunded MAEP. Read more.

Senate Leadership Evades Questions on School Funding Plan

Posted 2/20/2018

In an afternoon meeting with EdBuild and senators, Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison was evasive about a Senate version of HB 957, declining to answer senators' questions about whether a Senate plan exists or what it might entail. It appears that the Senate leadership fears public scrutiny of their school funding proposal, even the scrutiny of their own Senate colleagues. The Senate Education Committee will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon and the deadline to vote on the measure is in a few days. Keep calling your senators: ask them to vote NO on HB 957. Remember, the House version of HB 957 provides schools even LESS than an underfunded MAEP.

Important Update on School Funding Law, Remember Teachers

Posted 2/16/2018

Heads up: HB 957 was referred to the Senate Education Committee this afternoon, an indication that it will be taken up for a vote soon. The Senate reconvenes Monday at 2 p.m.; senators need to know that you oppose this bill. Ask your own senator AND senators on the Education Committee to VOTE NO on HB 957! Find contact information for Senate Education Committee members.

With the heart-rending events taking place in our country, most recently the school shooting in Florida, we appreciate more than ever the role that teachers serve in our public schools. Please join us in praying for the precious children and teachers in all of our classrooms, and remember the African proverb, "When you pray, move your feet."

See How Much Your School District Loses in HB 957

Posted 2/15/2018

 Have you seen how much your school district will lose if HB 957 becomes law? No matter how legislative leaders spin it, HB 957 is bad for students. It provides less than what current law requires, is worse than the funding trend in the Barbour years, and is worse than what schools would get if the current Legislature simply continued the underfunding pattern of the last six years. Ask your senator to vote NO on HB 957. Read more.Lose

SB 2623 Dies in Senate; Voucher/Funding Threat Remains in HB 957

Posted 2/8/2018

 Kudos to Mississippi senators who stood up for our public schools! With so little support for vouchers in the Senate, SB 2623 was never brought up for a vote by today's deadline. The Senate has adjourned for the day, and SB 2623 is dead. Please thank your senator and ask for his or her help again. A voucher threat remains in HB 957, the bill that would change the way public schools are funded, dramatically reduce the funding required, and pave the way for vouchers. Read more. Remember to wear #BlueForMSTeachers tomorrow and post pictures on social media. Our children are blessed to have great teachers in their classrooms - let's show our support!

Deadline Day: Ask Senators to Vote NO on SB 2623

Posted 2/8/2018 Vote NO SB 2623

Wear BLUE this Friday, Support Public School Teachers

Posted 1/31/2018

Show your support for public school teachers by wearing blue this Friday, and keep it up throughout the legislative session! This terrific idea is from Mississippi Professional Educators, inspired by a high school principal who was dismayed to see state leaders pushing private school vouchers last week at the Capitol while wearing yellow scarves in support of school choice week. Principal Chris Chism suggests we wear #BlueForMSTeachers and we agree! Also, keep calling senators on the three bills of concern - SB 2623, vouchers; SB 2400, school board elections; and HB 957, funding law. Read more.

RED ALERT: Voucher Bill Headed to Senate Floor - Please Call

Posted 1/30/2018

SB 2623, an alarming voucher bill, passed the Senate Education Committee today and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote. Please ask your senator to vote NO on this bill, which opens vouchers to all students and sends hundreds of millions of dollars to unaccountable private schools. Read details about the bill here.

Privatization Bill Passes First Committee - Need Calls

Posted 1/26/2018

We need your help again. The Koch brothers want to take over your school board and privatize your schools, and SB 2400 is their vehicle. Get the details on the dangers of this bill.

Thanks for a Terrific Response to the Virtual Rally!

Posted 1/25/2018

Well, Mississippi, you did yourself proud in the STAND UP FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS virtual rally! We had an amazing response yesterday and folks are still rallying today! Let's keep the momentum going. Continue to contact would be terrific to see the virtual rally extend through the weekend. Ask your friends to call. Post on social media and use the hashtags #No2VouchersMS and #ProtectSchoolFunding. Make sure all legislators get the message. Our children are counting on us.

Today's the Day to Speak Up for Our Kids

Posted 1/24/2018

Wednesday, January 24: Stand Up for Public Schools Virtual Rally. Here's what we need you to do:

 Contact your legislators and the leadership with our rally message: STAND UP FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS #No2VouchersMS #ProtectSchoolFunding.

• Don't pick just one method of communicating, use them all: call, text, email, tweet, and post on Facebook and Instagram! Find legislators' contact information here.

On social media, use hashtags #No2VouchersMS and #ProtectSchoolFunding with the rally graphic linked here (and pictured below).

 Post the graphic and your message on legislators' own social media pages AND tag legislators in all of your posts on your own pages.

Invite legislators to rally with us in support of public schools.

Teachers, remember to use your personal phones, computers, email addresses, and time to take action.

standup both square

URGENT: Our Kids Need You Wednesday

Posted 1/22/2018

Tired of the threats to slash school funding and send what little funding we have left to private academies? Make your voice heard without ever leaving home or work, missing carpool or appointments. Add your voice to thousands of others with a VIRTUAL RALLY this Wednesday, Jan. 24! Get the details here.

Dangerous Voucher Bills Introduced in House & Senate

Posted 1/19/2018

Several variations of voucher bills have been introduced; those most likely to come up in committee open the current special needs voucher program to all students. All of the voucher bills send taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private schools. Ask senators and representatives to vote NO on any voucher bill. Read more.

House Passes Terrible Funding Bill, Ask Senators to Vote NO

Posted 1/18/2018

This morning, the House tabled the motion to reconsider HB 957, sending the bill on to the Senate. Ask your senator to vote NO on HB 957 and send it back to the drawing board. And be sure to thank representatives who voted against HB 957. Find contact information for legislators. This is far from a done deal, so grab your cape and make those calls! Read more.

House Votes to Gut School Funding; Bill Held Over - Call Reps Again

Posted 1/17/2018, 8:05 p.m.

On a vote of 66-54, the House of Representatives passed HB 957, a bill that guts school funding, reducing by $150-million what current law requires for our public schools. The bill was held on a motion to reconsider the vote, so if your rep voted yes, you have another chance to get a "NO." There will be a motion to table the motion to reconsider. Defeating that "motion to table" would allow the bill to be brought back up for another vote. Ask your representative to vote NO when asked to table the motion to reconsider and then to vote NO on HB 957 when it comes back up.


Many of you watched the livestream of the House debate this afternoon and evening, and expressed your outrage at the rushed process to pass a bill giving our public schools the worst funding outlook that we have faced at any time since the MAEP went into effect. Many representatives spoke against the bill and pushed hard for reasonable amendments to improve it. All of those efforts were defeated. Remind your representatives that HB 957 will be devastating to public schools, and that this flawed bill will become their legacy.

Watch House Debate on HB 957 Today at 2 p.m.

Posted 1/17/2018

The House will take up HB 957 at 2 p.m. today.

Watch it online: It should be telling.

Read more, including facts about why HB 957 is bad for Mississippi's 490,000 public school children.

CALL NOW! Stop HB 957!

Posted 1/16/2018

Please call your representative right away - our children need your help to defeat House Bill 957. This devastating legislation was passed by the House Appropriations Committee this morning and will go to the House for a floor vote tomorrowRead more here.

Capitol Switchboard 601.359.3770.

RED ALERT: HB 957 Guts School Funding; Call Today!

Posted 1/15/2018

Thought it couldn't get any worse? HB 957, up for votes in the House this week, is worse than school funding in the Barbour administration and worse than school funding in the current administration. The Capitol switchboard is open today (601.359.3770). Call and leave a message for each of your legislators to vote NO on HB 957. Read more here.

MAEP Rewrite Gives Less to Every School District

Posted 1/12/2018

The new school funding plan proposed in House Bill 957 would be devastating to many school districts and would require less, over time, for the children in every school district than is required in current law. Many of the costs to districts are hidden in the details of the bill and are not reflected in the numbers that EdBuild provided to legislators. This could be the most consequential piece of legislation passed in a decade by the Mississippi Legislature. Read more here, including our list of primary concerns.

Public Education PAC is Great News for MS Public Schools

Posted 1/10/2018

The newly formed Mississippi Public Education PAC (MSPEPAC) endorsed its first three candidates in recent special elections, and these candidates swept all three races. Read here about the nonpartisan PAC and why it was formed and about the PAC-endorsed legislators who ran successfully in their districts on a pro-public education platform.

Rep. Richard Bennett Named House Education Chair

Posted 1/5/2018

House Speaker Philip Gunn this morning named Rep. Richard Bennett of Long Beach as chairman of the House Education Committee. Rep. Bennett is a former school board member and has deep roots in public education. Read more here.

Time to Call! Vouchers & MAEP Rewrite May Be Fast Tracked

Posted 1/3/2018

Grab your cape! The 2018 Legislative Session convened yesterday, and already, privatizers are stalking the hallways of the Capitol, pressuring lawmakers to make a commitment this week about their votes on voucher bills. Read more here. Please check in with your legislators now and ask them to:

Vote no on any expansion of vouchers

Vote no on any change to the school funding law that does not include an objective formula for calculating the base student cost

Scheme Would Strike Funding Formula from Law

Posted 12/28/2017

Heads up - the 2018 Legislative Session starts January 2, and reputable sources tell us that the House leadership plans an early move to eliminate the school funding formula from law, erasing the Legislature's obligation to provide adequate funding for public schools. Read the details here, and get ready to hero up on behalf of Mississippi's public school children.

The Voucher Hoax in Your Mailbox

Posted 12/20/2017

Privatizers are sending out mailers intended to trick public school supporters into backing vouchers. Regardless of marketing "spin," voucher lobbyists can't hide the truth: vouchers send public taxpayer dollars to private schools that exclude children and avoid oversight. Read more.

Voucher Funds Go Unused

Posted 12/5/2017

More than a third of Mississippi's voucher funds are not being used. According to information gained via a recent public records request to MDE, of the $3-million that the Mississippi Legislature appropriated for private school vouchers last year, just over $1-million was not spent. In fact, so few of the students who were assigned special needs vouchers were able to use them that a second lottery was held to re-assign unused vouchers. Even after assigning those vouchers a second time, much of the funding sat idle. Read the details here.

Thankful for Public Education Supporters

Posted 11/21/2017

We're thankful this week for Mississippians who believe in public education as a common good for all of God's children! Public dollars should serve public interests (public schools), not individual choices (private voucher schools).


Good News on Accountability Front

Posted 11/16/2017

The process for assigning accountability ratings to lower elementary schools was the topic of a session at a recent MASA conference. Representatives from MDE met with educators and gathered feedback on problems related to lower elementary ratings. Read about that here, along with information about ratings challenges faced by attendance centers.

2017 School and District Ratings Released

Posted 10/19/2017

Mississippi students demonstrated higher achievement in math, reading, science, and history, along with improvements in ACT scores and graduation rates. These improvements resulted in higher ratings for many schools and districts. See your 2017 ratings here and read more here about the ratings process and glitches in the accountability system that grades our schools.

Lower Elementary School Ratings May Cause Heartburn

Posted 10/16/2017

When school ratings are released this Thursday, your lower elementary school's rating may cause heartburn. Find out why.

School Choice: Myth vs. Truth

Posted 9/23/2017

The Parents' Campaign Research and Education Fund has compiled a long list of school choice myths and truths. See all of the myths here, along with links to the research that dispels the myths pushed by privatizers.

school choice myth 1

Changes Pending Regarding Special Education Diploma Options

Posted 8/25/2017

Diploma options for children with special needs are changing; parents and teachers have an opportunity to weigh in on how those changes unfold. Public comments are due to MDE by 5:00 p.m. on August 31. Read more.

MS Board of Ed Action Commendable, Not Perfect; State Test Scores Released

Posted 8/17/2017

Today the Mississippi Board of Education voted on an amended recommendation to set baseline cut scores for 2017 using the same percentile rankings that were established last year and to assign each school and district two ratings (letter grades) - one using 2016 cut scores and one using the new 2017 cut scores. Schools and districts will be able to keep the higher of the two grades, for this year only.  Also today, the board reviewed test score results from schools and districts that showed students and teachers are making tremendous strides in achievement. Read more on all of the board's actions today.

School Ratings: Percentile Rankings & New Cut Scores - Again

Posted 8/15/2017

MDE's Commission on School Accreditation has recommended that new accountability cut scores be set and that percentile rankings be used again this year to determine school and school district ratings. Department of Education officials explained that the cut scores were set artificially high last year. Read more.

Ready to Learn

Posted 8/9/2017

Ready for the best year yet! Mississippi public school teachers are welcoming students back to class, excited and ready to "raise the bar!"  Read more.

Back to school msg

New Assessment, Ambitious Goals in State Education Plan

Posted 7/11/2017

Next Sunday, July 16, is the deadline to provide feedback on Mississippi's new plan for public education in our state: Mississippi Succeeds. The Parents' Campaign supports, generally, the ambitious goals for achievement laid out in the plan. Two issues of concern are the addition of a new, rigorous Algebra II assessment for students who take Algebra I in eighth grade and resources that are insufficient for students and teachers to achieve the ambitious goals in the plan. Read more, including The Parents' Campaign's public comments on the plan.

State Education Plan Introduced

Posted 6/22/2017

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) seeks feedback on its new plan for public schools in Mississippi. Each state is required to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education explaining how it will comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, the replacement for No Child Left Behind). See more here, including links to MDE's plan and an online survey, and details on public meetings in Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Oxford.

Vouchers Aren't Working

Posted 6/17/2017

The authors of a new Education Week commentary - Student Vouchers Aren't Working - Here's Why - note a "disturbing disconnect" between the proven negative effects of vouchers on students' achievement and the continuing efforts by privatizers to convince states to expand vouchers to more children. Because voucher research is consistently showing "detrimental outcomes" for students, privatizers have shifted toward selling vouchers under the guise of "parent choice." Mississippians know better – it's the private academies that do the choosing, not the parents, and taxpayers are left holding the bill. The Mississippi Legislature isn't falling for it; our legislators killed all broad voucher bills in the 2017 session.

Can You Help?

Posted 5/4/2017

If you have a few hours to spare in the next couple of weeks, a public school near you could probably use your help. As we enter the last two weeks of state testing, a number of schools are in dire need of proctors and hall monitors. When state tests are administered, schools are required to have a proctor in every classroom and a monitor in every hall, in addition to classroom administrators (usually teachers). Districts need hundreds of volunteers to be in compliance. Please contact a public school near you today and offer to help proctor state tests. I especially encourage legislators and statewide elected officials to volunteer. At a time when educators and students are seeing expectations rise and funding diminished, volunteering a few hours of our time seems the least we could do.

News on School Funding

Posted 4/19/2017

Governor Bryant signed HB 1502, the K-12 funding bill, yesterday, an action that starts the clock ticking on teacher non-renewal notices. School districts must issue written notice by April 28 to any teacher whose contract will not be renewed for the 2017-2018 school year. See your district's funding for 2017-2018, as provided for by HB 1502. Read more here about fair funding and how Mississippi's school funding measures up to that of neighboring states and the U.S. average.

Your School District's Funding

Posted 4/11/2017

How much is the Mississippi Legislature willing to invest in your child's education? You can see how much state funding your school district will receive for the 2017-2018 school year, how much it is underfunded according to our state law, and how your schools might be funded if they were located in another state by clicking here.

Good Job! Session Ends, Vouchers Die

Posted 3/29/2017

The 2017 Legislative Session is in the books; the House and Senate adjourned sine die this afternoon, having defeated all measures that would have sent public school dollars to private academies. See the status of all bills we followed in this session. Read more about final legislative action on vouchers and the K-12 budget.

Legislature Passes School Funding Bill

Posted 3/27/2017

The school funding bill for 2017-2018 was passed tonight by the House and Senate. It funds the MAEP $40-million below what was appropriated for public schools this time last year. Read more.

Still No K-12 Budget

Posted 3/26/2017  7:55 p.m.

When the House and Senate adjourned for the evening on Sunday, there was still no agreement on the K-12 budget for the 2017-2018 school year. Conferees signed a "dummy" bill with $0 as the amount appropriated in order to meet a Saturday night deadline for filing initial conference reports. On Sunday, legislators in both chambers voted to recommit the report for further work. As of 7:55 p.m. on Sunday, no additional conference report had been filed.

Saturday evening, officials reported that they had agreed to a budget that funded the MAEP at $40-million below what was appropriated for the current school year ($20-million below what schools were left with this year after two rounds of budget cuts) and $233-million below what state law says is adequate for students to master the standards required of them for graduation and for schools to meet basic accreditation requirements. Sunday afternoon, Mississippi Today reporter Kate Royals tweeted that, according to Education Chairman John Moore, no deal on the K-12 budget had been reached.

MAEP Cut by $8.6M in Current Year Budget Reductions

Posted 3/25/2017

Yesterday, Governor Bryant was forced to make another round of FY 2017 budget cuts due to plummeting state revenue. The MAEP was cut by another $8.6-million and the General Education budget was cut by $738,904. These cuts affect the current school year, 2016-2017. See spreadsheet listing cuts by agency, courtesy of Mississippi Today. The MAEP previously was cut by $11.2-million in February.

Misinformation at Play in Voucher Debate, Budget Woes Worsen

Posted 3/24/2017

In voucher debate earlier in the session, legislators were told that the DeSoto County School District had no program to serve students with dyslexia. The claim was made that students need to be given Mississippi tax dollars to pay for private school tuition across the state line in Memphis. As a matter of fact, the district has a dyslexia program overseen by four dyslexia therapists and including 111 trained teachers. The voucher bill, HB 1046, could come up for a vote at any time in the next several days. In today's news, legislators learned they will have to make deeper than anticipated cuts to state services for the coming year. Read more.

MAEP and Vouchers - Keep Calling!

Posted 3/22/2017

 The public remains in the dark on the MAEP rewrite. Meanwhile, deadlines loom for the K-12 funding bill and the voucher bill. Read more.

Secret MAEP Revamp to be Unveiled?

Posted 3/20/2017

Sources in the House and Senate say that school funding "numbers" in the MAEP revamp may be unveiled as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) to "select" legislators. Ask your legislators to vote NO on any proposal that hasn't been fully vetted in open public hearings. See more here, including our list of red flags to watch for in this process.


Posted 3/17/2017

What a day! Hundreds of Mississippi parents, students, and educators crowded into the Capitol today to rally in support of public schools. Congratulations to rally organizers - and thank you - for a fantastic event! And kudos to all those who took time from your spring break vacation to travel to Jackson to stand up for our children! Read more about the day.

Call, Text, Email Legislators on RALLY DAY!

Posted 3/17/2017

Couldn't make it to the education funding rally at the Capitol today? Don't worry, you can still be there in spirit. Wherever you are right now, pick up your phone and call, text, and email your legislators! Your message: "I'm concerned about any changes to the education funding law. I want to know what the plan is and I want to have input." Read more.

See You Tomorrow

Posted 3/16/2017

Tomorrow is RALLY DAY! We hope you'll come. This rally is a chance to make it crystal clear to our Legislature that public education is Mississippi's #1 priority and that the way it is funded can make or break our children's future. Read more.

Ready to rally

MAEP and a Rally at the Capitol

Posted 3/13/2017

 Will we see you Thursday, March 16, at the rally for public education funding? The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. in the 2nd floor rotunda of the State Capitol. This afternoon, the Senate amended the education funding bill for 2017-2018 to replace the MAEP funding that was omitted in the earlier House version of the bill. HB 1502 now provides roughly the same amount of funding for the next school year as schools received this year. But flat funding, combined with ever rising operating costs, still leaves school districts in a budget hole. Read more.

Senate Passes Voucher Bill, School Funding Rally Set for March 16

Posted 3/8/2017

The Senate passed HB 1046, the voucher bill, this evening on a vote of 30-19. See your senator's vote. The bill was amended to include a reverse repealer, which means it will go to conference. Senators were told that this bill is not a voucher bill. That, of course, is false. Any bill that sends public, taxpayer funds to pay tuition at a private school is a voucher. Please ask your legislators to vote NO when the bill comes back from conference. 

Frustrated with the silence and secrecy regarding the MAEP rewrite, citizens now are organizing a March 16 rally in support of public school funding. Read more.

Still No Action on Vouchers, Deadline Tomorrow

Posted 3/7/2017

The voucher bill, HB 1046, has still not come up for a vote in the Senate, and tomorrow is the deadline for floor action on this and other general bills. Please ask everyone you know to call their senators one more time with the message: Vote NO on HB 1046Find contact information for senators here. You can leave a message at the Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770. Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves: 601.359.3200. We will post the vote for HB 1046 on this page and on our Ed Report Facebook pages if it is taken up tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Vouchers Still a Threat - Keep Calling!

Posted 3/3/2017

 No matter how many times you've already called your senator about HB 1046, please call again! The Senate has adjourned for the weekend without taking the bill up for a vote. They will reconvene on Monday at 4 p.m.; midnight Wednesday is the deadline for action on this bill. Read more.

Need More Calls on Vouchers

Posted 3/2/2017

The voucher bill, HB 1046, has not yet come up for a vote in the Senate. Please ask everyone you know to call their senators with the message: Vote NO on HB 1046! Find contact information for senators. Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770. Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves: 601.359.3200. The deadline for passage of this bill is next Wednesday, and privatization operatives are lobbying hard to get it passed. Please ask your senator to stand with us in support of public schools.

Voucher Bill Awaits Action on Senate Calendar - Keep Calling!

Posted 3/1/2017

The Senate took no action today on the voucher bill, House Bill 1046, so the bill remains on the Senate calendar and could come up for a vote any time between now and next Wednesday's deadline. Many thanks to those who have contacted your senators; please stay in touch with them throughout this week. They are getting enormous pressure from privatization forces to support this voucher bill. Ask your friends and family to call, too.  And give us a call or shoot us an email or text message to let us know what feedback you are getting. Find legislators' contact information here.

RED ALERT: Voucher Bill Headed to Senate Floor - Please Call Senators!

Posted 2/28/2017

 HB 1046 has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the floor. A strike-all amendment has turned the bill into a dangerous voucher bill that threatens local school district funding and sends Mississippi tax dollars out of state to unaccountable private schools. Read more here.

RED ALERT: Calls Needed Immediately!

Posted 2/27/2017

House Bill 1046 (strike-all amendment) could be the most alarming legislation we've seen this year. Find out why, then call senators and ask for a  vote of NO on HB 1046.

What Does HB 1046 Actually Do?

Posted 2/24/2017

Misinformation is circulating about HB 1046. Here are four key facts about this bill (as passed by the Senate Education Committee on 2/23/2017).

Key Points on HB 1046

RED ALERT: Vouchers Resurrected

Posted 2/23/2017

The Senate Education Committee this morning passed an amended bill that would send public dollars to private schools throughout Mississippi, as well as out-of-state private schools. Ask senators to vote NO on voucher bill HB 1046. Find phone numbers for senators in your school district. Read more here.

Vouchers Die on Deadline Day; Focus Now on MAEP Rewrite

Posted 2/22/2017

Three cheers for the Mississippi Legislature! Due to lack of support, no voucher bill was ever brought up for a vote. Now our focus returns to the MAEP rewrite, a process that should include ample time for a full public vetting. Read more.

More good news for public ed

No Action on Vouchers Today; Governor Makes More Mid-year Budget Cuts

Posted 2/21/2017

 Neither the House nor the Senate took up voucher bills in committee today; the deadline is midnight tomorrow. In other news, Governor Bryant was forced to make more mid-year budget cuts. This time the MAEP is included. Read more.

Vouchers in House & Senate - Please Keep Calling!

Posted 2/20/2017

Voucher bills are looming in both chambers. One voucher bill has been referred to the House Ways & Means committee, and three await action in the Senate Finance committee. All have a Wednesday deadline for floor votes. Read more here.

Curious Turn on MAEP, More Vouchers to Fight

Posted 2/15/2017

 After Speaker Gunn announced yesterday that legislators would delay the school funding appropriation until the MAEP rewrite is done, the House today passed a K-12 appropriation bill that omits MAEP funding to school districts completely. Read more about this curious turn of events and see our alert on a new round of voucher bills.

Tax Credit Sch Bills 1

A Win for Our Children!

Posted 2/9/2017

 Good news for public ed

Thank you! You did amazing work for our kids, and your legislators sided with you. Read more here.

House, Senate Adjourned; Bills Remain on Calendars

Posted 2/8/2017

Thursday, February 9, is the deadline for passage of bills currently on House and Senate calendars. The bills we are watching closely still have not come up for votes and both chambers have adjourned for the day. Continue to contact legislators to share your concerns on the following bills:

Public Ed in Jeopardy

MAEP Revamp Bills Coming; Legislators, Public Kept in Dark

Posted 2/7/2017

 The Mississippi Business Journal reports that legislators will be asked in the next two days to vote on bills that strike the MAEP from state law and replace it with a new school funding mechanism. The proposal has not been made public, nor have legislators had a chance to review it. Read more.

Harmful Education Bills Await Votes

Posted 2/6/2017

Thursday, February 9, is the deadline for first-round action on the bills we are watching this week in the House and Senate. Keep those calls to legislators going, and get details here on bills that could harm public schools.

Broad Voucher Bill on House Calendar

Posted 2/2/2017

A voucher bill championed by privatization lobbyists is on the House calendar awaiting a vote. Ask your representative to vote no on HB 1036. Read about the possible consequences of this bill.

Status of MAEP Dummy Bills

Posted 2/1/2017

HB 1294, the MAEP dummy bill, was skipped today as the House began working through its calendar of bills. SB 2607, the Senate's MAEP dummy bill, also was skipped on the Senate calendar. The House will reconvene at 9 a.m. Thursday and the Senate at 10 a.m. Both dummy bills face a February 9 deadline for passage.

RED ALERT: "Dummy" MAEP Revamp & Other Dangerous Bills Headed for Floor Votes

Posted 1/31/2017

House and Senate committees advanced a number of bills detrimental to public schools, including two "dummy" bills that will be used to change the way public schools are funded. Read more.

RED ALERT: Plan Could Devastate Public Schools

Posted 1/29/2017

Lt. Governor Reeves has told the Associated Press that he believes a new school funding law should not include a formula to keep pace with inflation. Such a plan would set in law a devastating downward spiral for public school funding. Read more on our Facebook page.

RED ALERT: Please Call Legislators

Posted 1/27/2017

The Senate Education Committee is expected to vote on that chamber's version of an MAEP rewrite on Tuesday (deadline day). The House Appropriations Committee may vote on a "dummy" bill that could be amended with MAEP changes. Both are troublesome and need your urgent attention. Read more.

Less State Funding for Mississippi Schools?

Posted 1/23/2017

The bottom line on EdBuild's proposal appears to be less state funding for public schools than is required currently by the MAEP. Two areas of great concern are elimination of the formula and shifting the burden from the state to the local level (raising local taxes). Read more.

EdBuild Recommends Changes to MAEP

Posted 1/16/2017

EdBuild, the consulting firm hired by the leadership to recommend changes to the school funding formula, presented its report to a packed house at the Capitol this afternoon. Read more and see EdBuild's full recommendations

Watch EdBuild Meeting via Livestream

Posted 1/16/2017

If you are not attending in person, you can view today's EdBuild meeting via livestream at 2 p.m. on Mississippi Today's Facebook page:

EdBuild to Present Recommendations January 16

Posted 1/12/2017

EdBuild will present recommendations to legislators on Monday, January 16, at 2 p.m. in Room 216 of the State Capitol. The meeting will be open to the public. Legislators are going home today for the weekend, so this is a great time to ask them these questions: Do you promise to vote no on any changes to the school funding law until I and other constituents have had a chance to review and weigh in on them? Do you promise to vote against any proposal that results in a lower level of funding than is now required by state law?

An ANTI-Public Education Agenda

Posted 1/4/2017

Yesterday, we defined for you what a PRO-public education agenda looks like. Today, we show you what an ANTI-public education agenda might entail. Read more.

A PRO-Public Education Agenda

Posted 1/3/2017

Today, legislators gathered in Jackson to convene the 2017 Legislative Session. How will you know if your legislators are voting to support strong public schools? We'll make it easy, cutting through the spin and telling the truth about the impact of legislation on your school and your child. Read details here on what a PRO-public education agenda looks like.

Click here to see archived posts from 2016; click here for postings from 2006-2015. 

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