Important Bills Coming Up in House

An amended version of SB 2511 has passed the House. The bill addresses the teacher shortage by altering requirements for entry into college and university teacher education programs. The amendment removed sections 20 and 21, which relaxed endorsement and licensure criteria for a narrow group of candidates. The bill will now go back to the Senate where that body can concur with the changes or invite conference.

Two additional bills we are tracking have passed the House Education Committee and must now pass the House Appropriations Committee before going to the floor.

SB 2286 expands the Early Learning Collaborative pre-k program. It increases per-student state funding for collaboratives to $2,500 for full-day and $1,250 for half-day, and it sets a goal to serve 25% of 4-year-olds by 2022-2023.

SB 2594, the ESA voucher bill, adds accountability measures to the voucher program, eliminates online schools from eligibility, and requires that the voucher schools provide special education services for participating students.

Please ask your representative to vote as follows:

SB 2286 – Early Learning Collaboratives/pre-k – VOTE YES

SB 2594 – ESA vouchers – The Parents’ Campaign has no position on the bill in its current form; VOTE NO on any amendment to broaden the bill or reduce accountability

Call the Capitol switchboard: 601.359.3770 or find complete contact information for legislators here.

You can find more information about these bills on our web site’s bill tracker.

Kudos to the Mississippi Department of Education for announcing that it will not follow the guidance issued by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that would take millions of dollars away from public school children who live in poverty to benefit wealthy children in private schools. Read more. Thank you for your calls to our congressional delegation about this matter! So far, DeVos is not backing down, despite broad criticism of her privatization push. We may need your help again, so please stay tuned.

We will keep you posted as the bills we are watching continue through the process. In the meantime, please give your legislators a call. Together, we’ve got this!