2021 Legislative Priorities

An excellent early education experience for every child

  • Increased funding for Early Learning Collaboratives (ELC)
    • amend ELC statute to embed increased per-student state match of $2,500 per student in a full-day program (current statute provides for $2,150) and $1,250 per student for a half-day program (current statute provides for $1,075)
    • increase significantly the ELC appropriation for FY2022

An excellent teacher in every classroom

  • Teacher pay raise – increase salaries now and codify a plan to raise teacher pay to the Southeastern average in no less than 3 years and to maintain this position at the Southeastern average
  • Elimination of the failed School Recognition Program (move funding to a pay raise for all teachers)
  • Teacher shortage – codify a plan to address Mississippi’s critical teacher shortage, which may include, but is not limited to:
    • tuition repayment , with priority given to teachers who teach in a geographic shortage area for a minimum of 3 years
    • allowing retired teachers to return full- or part-time and draw their retirement allowance
    • a career ladder that allows teachers to stay in the classroom and be compensated at higher levels for additional leadership responsibilities
    • PRAXIS preparation assistance
    • additional licensure options, including reciprocity with other states
    • accountability for teacher preparation programs at Mississippi colleges and universities

An excellent public school for every Mississippi child

  • Increased Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding – codify a plan to reach full funding of the MAEP no later than the 2024-2025 school year (FY2025), with substantial increases each year
  • Full funding of the special education add-on portion of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program
  • Provide funding sufficient to employ a literacy coach in every public school that has a grade of kindergarten through 3 and that has a reading proficiency rate less than 40% (~50% of 700-point schools)

Public funds restricted to public schools (defeat of public school privatization measures)

  • Defeat all new voucher or tax credit scholarship proposals or expansions
  • Maintain, and strengthen as necessary, restrictions on existing ESA voucher program implemented as a result of SB 2594 in the 2020 Legislative Session
  • Defeat measures that would alter the way school boards are elected. These are privatization measures, generally authored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), that:
    • simplify the process by which privatizers take majority control of local school boards by having all seats elected simultaneously (not staggered), and
    • facilitate recruitment and funding of privatization candidates by out-of-state organizations and persons by aligning school board elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections, making it easy for out-of-state funders to identify when the elections are taking place

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