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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Your support makes all the difference.

As we look toward the 2022 Legislative Session, there is reason to be hopeful. And there is reason to be vigilant! The Senate is pushing for a significant teacher pay raise, but the House tax shift plan threatens to derail it.

With your help, we can win the day for Mississippi teachers and children. That takes resources. Your gift of $10, $25, $100, or more can ensure that we have a well-informed, well-organized network of Mississippi public school parents and teachers and that their voices reach decision-makers at the Capitol. #GivingTuesday

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