Month: May 2020

House & Senate Committees Take Up Education Bills

Legislative committees met this week to begin debating bills that passed the opposite chamber prior to the pause in the session necessitated by the pandemic.  HB 1165, which passed the House as a mandate that computer science be taught, passed the Senate Education Committee as a vehicle to use for a distance learning initiative. Chairman …

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MDE Wants Your Input on How to Spend CARES Act Money

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is asking the public to provide input on how K-12’s share of CARES Act funding should be spent. The Department has provided a quick online survey through which you can indicate your priorities. CARES Act education funds are intended to help schools recover some of the costs they incurred due …

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Move Would Shift Millions of Dollars from Public Schools to Private Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wants to take millions of dollars away from our neediest public school children and give them to our state’s wealthiest private school students.  The federal CARES Act sent Mississippi $170-million specifically for K-12 education. These funds are allocated to public schools according to the Title I formula, so public school …

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Legislature Passes Small Biz Relief, Hears Distance Learning Plan

This evening, a bipartisan group of lawmakers came to an agreement on a plan to use a portion of Mississippi’s $1.25-billion CARES Act funding to provide relief to small businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Legislators worked late into the night to fast-track the bill and get badly needed financial assistance to businesses in short …

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Legislative Hearings Online, Revenue Tanking

The Mississippi Legislature is back in session to make decisions about the appropriation of CARES Act funding. The Senate is live-streaming its hearings for public viewing with the links posted on the Legislative web site. The Education hearing will be tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. Find the full schedule of hearings here.  April revenue numbers are in, and …

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Legislature Coming Back Tomorrow, Teacher Appreciation Week

The Legislature will return tomorrow (Thursday) to address “a plan to help small businesses across the State that are struggling amid COVID-19.” See the announcement.  Our Legislature, composed of the men and women from our communities whom we elected to represent us, is our means of having input into how the federal CARES Act funding is …

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Need Your Help to Keep Public Schools Strong

In November, you elected the most pro-public education Legislature we have seen in years, and we were starting to see the fruits of that election before the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the current Legislative Session. The authority of our Legislature is now being threatened. We need your help to keep our voice strong.   Please thank the legislators …

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Legislature Takes Control of CARES Act Funds

The Mississippi Legislature returned to Jackson today to affirm its authority to appropriate funds, including federal CARES Act funding.  This afternoon, the House and Senate amended SB 2772 to transfer $1.15-billion in CARES Act funding into the state’s budget contingency fund for the Legislature to appropriate when it returns in mid-May. $100-million was left in …

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