Archived Web News Postings From
The Parents' Campaign
2011


Jim Barksdale's Big Idea for Education
Click here to view a video of Jim Barksdale's keynote address at
MEC's Hobnob Mississippi
 

PERS Study Commission Announces Recommendations
posted 12/14/11 
The PERS Study Commission has released its report. Click here to see the Commission's recommendations and to access the full report.
Joint Legislative Budget Committee Makes Budget Recommendation
posted 12/13/11 
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee has released its budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2013.  The revenue estimate adopted by the committee anticipates that revenue will be .6% below the revised revenue estimate for Fiscal Year 2012, the current budget year.  The recommendation of the Legislative Budget Committee is that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) be funded at the same level at which it was funded for the current year.  The MAEP is currently funded at a level that is $237-million below what state law says is sufficient to adequately educate Mississippi children.  The Legislative Budget Recommendation will be used as a baseline from which budget negotiations will begin when the Legislature convenes in January.  

PERS Study Commission to Release Recommendations
posted 12/13/11 
The PERS Study Commission is scheduled to release its findings and recommendations on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.  Read more about the Study Commission here.
Another Victory for Education
posted 11/29/11 
We asked you to help elect an education-friendly legislature, and you did just that.  When The Parents' Campaign was established five years ago, one of our goals was to make public education an issue of such importance that it would be difficult for a candidate to be elected without showing strong support for public schools.
The recent election shows that our goal is fast becoming a reality. Public education was a major theme in most candidates' platforms, and a number of high profile races turned on that issue. The election also demonstrates what we have espoused all along: education is not a partisan issue. Many legislative seats that turned in favor of education were decided in the primary, with pro-education challengers unseating members of their own parties. 
Now our job is to make sure that those who campaigned as education supporters keep their promises. We will be working closely with legislators on issues of school reform and school funding, and we will need your help to make sure that we get it right. If you do not already receive our emails, click here to sign up.

State Budgeting Process Has Begun  
posted 11/17/2011
The Legislative Budget Committee has adopted a revenue estimate for the coming year that is virtually flat. As incoming Lt. Governor Tate Reeves has said, the tight budget year that is expected will require that legislators establish clear budgeting priorities, and education should be at the top of the list.  There are a few things legislators should know as they begin to craft the state budget:
  • K-12 Education has been cut by a greater percent than other state agencies, and by a greater percent than the state budget as a whole, in each of the last 4 years
  • In each of the last 4 years, the percent of the state budget allocated to K-12 Education has declined. Read more...
  • In the last 5 years, public schools have been underfunded by $1-Billion. See chart...
  • When the MAEP was fully funded, Mississippi's public schools improved significantly, showing a greater percentage-point gain than the schools in any other state in the nation. Read more...
    Vote Today!
    posted 11/8/2011
    Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

    Today we will elect the legislators who will decide MAEP funding, PERS legislation, school accountability, and other important public education issues for the next four years.  This is our chance to cast our votes for our kids and our schools.
    Click here to read what candidates have to say about public education and to see how incumbent legislators have voted on education issues in the past.  Spread the word, and vote today for candidates who share your education values.

    Time to Spread the Word!
    Tell Everyone Where Candidates Stand on Public Education
    posted 10/25/2011
    Five minutes of your time could change the future for our kids.
    The upcoming election could very well change Mississippi's education landscape. Every Mississippian should know where candidates stand on public education, and we make it easy with our Election 2011 Candidate Q&A. Email your friends, share the link on Facebook, tweet on Twitter - tell everyone you know to check out TPC's Election 2011 website to learn where candidates stand on school funding, PERS, school improvement and other important issues.
    How did YOU spread the word?  Email us to tell us how many people heard the news from you!

    Voter Registration Deadline Saturday, October 8
    posted 10/05/2011
    If you are not already registered to vote, you must do so by this Saturday if you want to vote in the November election. Circuit Clerks' offices will be open until noon on Saturday to accommodate last-minute registrants.  Find your county's voter registrar and more here.

    Attorney General Writes PERS Commission
    posted 9/23/2011
    Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has written a letter to the PERS Study  Commission reminding its members of the State's contractual obligation to the members of PERS. Click here to read more. 

    State Agency Budget Hearings in Progress
    posted 9/21/2011
    This week, the Legislative Budget Committee (LBC) is hearing from state agency heads about their budget needs for the coming year. Following the hearings, the LBC will craft a budget recommendation that will serve as the starting point for budget negotiations once the Legislative Session begins in January. The Mississippi Department of Education will have its hearing at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, September 22, on the first floor of the Woolfolk Building in Jackson (across West Street from the Capitol). Click here to view the schedule of all state agency hearings. The LBC budget recommendation is due to the Legislature by December 15, 2011

    Official School Accountability Labels Announced
    Schools Continue to Make Progress
    posted 9/16/2011
    The Mississippi State Board of Education has announced the official school and school district accountability ratings for 2011. This year, more schools and school districts are rated Star (the highest designation) than were in 2009 or 2010, and fewer are rated Failing. Click here to read about the progress being made and to find the ratings for your school(s) and school districtRead the press release from the Mississippi Department of Education.

    Blue Ribbon Schools Announced
    posted 9/16/2011
    Three Mississippi schools have been named Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.  This honor is given to schools that have either shown overall academic excellence or successfully closed achievement gaps.  Mississippi's three Blue Ribbon Schools are:
Kathleen Bankston Elementary School in Greenwood
North Bay Elementary School in Biloxi
Saltillo High School in Saltillo
 
Congratulations to the students, teachers and staff in these outstanding schools!

   PERS Study Commission to Hold Public Hearing 
posted 9/8/2011
The PERS Study Commission will hold a public hearing to allow citizens to share their thoughts and concerns with Commission members. Written comments are also welcome. The hearing will be held:
Wednesday, September 14  2:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Room 216 of the State Capitol in Jackson
Click here for guidelines and to learn how to reserve a time to speak.  Click here to learn more about the PERS Study Commission. 

Education Reform Expert to Speak in Mississippi
posted 8/30/2011
What would the education policies and practices of the United States be if they were based on the policies and practices of the countries that now lead the world in student performance?
Marc Tucker, a leader in the field of education reform, and author of Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform, will address this question during a September 14th education forum hosted by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).
The MDE forum featuring Marc Tucker is free and open to the public:
Wednesday, September 14, 2011  2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Hinds Community College Rankin campus. 
Click here for more information and to register.

   PERS Study Commission to Meet
posted 8/30/2011
There has been a great deal of discussion recently about Mississippi's Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), and a lot of conflicting information has been circulating about the solvency of the program and whether or not there will be changes in the program's benefit plan.  Last month, Governor Barbour appointed a commission to study PERS and issue a report by November 15, raising speculation that a special session might be called to consider changes to the program prior to Barbour leaving office in January. The next meeting of the Study Commission will be September 7.  Click here to read more, including the responsibilities of the Commission and how to give your input or ask questions.

Education Supporters Needed at the Polls August 23!
posted 8/18/2011
August 23 is another important day for our public schools. Education supporters sent a strong message in the August 2 election: Ensuring great public schools for all Mississippi children must be a top priority for our legislators!  Let's continue our progress toward a more education-friendly Legislature with a good turnout for the August 23 runoff.  Read more.
   Thanks for Voting for a Brighter Future!
posted 8/3/2011
Many thanks to all those who cast votes for a brighter future! We are making great strides toward electing an education-friendly Legislature. As final election results come in, we will be updating our Candidate Q&A web pages to include only those candidates who are still in contention. Some primary races will require a runoff. Click here to learn more.

   See What Candidates Say They Will Do AND What They've Done
posted 8/1/2011
Want to know how candidates are likely to vote on education issues?  Look at their past votes - the very best predictors of their future votes.  Check out what candidates say they will do and what those already serving in the Legislature have done so far.  See both by clicking here

   Absentee Voting Deadline Saturday Noon
posted 7/29/2011
The deadline to vote absentee in the primary election is noon tomorrow, Saturday, July 30th.  Click here to find the address and phone number of your County Registrar and other information about voting absentee. Many important races that will have a dramatic effect on our children's schools will be decided in Tuesday's primary election.  If you won't be able to vote on Tuesday, please vote absentee today or by noon tomorrow.
Before going to vote, click here to see what candidates say about public education and to see the education voting records of candidates who are already serving in the Legislature. 

   State Test Scores Released
posted 7/22/2011
The Mississippi Department of Education has released the latest round of state test scores, and they bring good news!  Mississippi is continuing to make progress. For the first time, more than 50% of students in every grade scored proficient or advanced in Language Arts. Click here to see scores for the state as well as for your school and your district. Be sure to choose 2010/2011 to see this year's scores.  Click here to see the news release issued by the Mississippi Department of Education. Test scores will be a primary factor in determining school and district accountability ratings which will be announced in September. 
 Deadline Approaching for Primary Election Absentee Votes 
posted 7/20/2011
Saturday, July 30th, is the deadline to vote absentee in the upcoming primary election.  If you will be out of town on August 2nd, please take few minutes to go by your Circuit Clerk's office and vote absentee. A number of important races, including Lieutenant Governor, will be decided in the primary. Before you vote, be sure you know where the candidates stand on public education.  Click here to see candidates' answers to our members' education questions. Click here for more information on voting absentee.   
 Candidates Answer TPC Members' Education Questions 
posted 7/12/2011
You can now see how candidates for the Mississippi Legislature and several statewide offices responded to questions asked by members of The Parents' Campaign.  We chose the questions most frequently submitted by our members, compiled them into a Candidate Q&A form, and sent them to all candidates for the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor & treasurer.  Find their unedited responses here (along with incumbent candidates' education voting records). 

What Would You Ask Candidates About Education?
TPC Solicits Questions for Candidates 
posted 6/2/2011
In anticipation of the upcoming election, The Parents' Campaign is providing voters a means to learn candidates' positions on education issues by asking them to submit education-related questions that they would like to ask legislative candidates.  Candidates will be asked to submit their responses to those questions, and the questions and responses will be posted on our website.
Email your questions to nloome@msparentscampaign.org.
Questions may be combined with others to avoid duplication or edited for grammar and punctuation.  Questions that are deemed offensive or inappropriate will not be used.  Candidates' responses will not be edited.

MDE Announces 2010 Graduation, Completion and Dropout Rates 
posted 5/4/2011
The Mississippi Department of Education today announced that the dropout rate for the Class of 2010 is 17.0 percent, slightly up from the previous year's rate of 16.8 percent. The graduation rate for 2010 is 71.4 percent, compared to 71.6 percent in 2009. The completion rate for the Class of 2010 is 78.6 percent; the previous year's rate was 79.3 percent. MDE is renewing its dropout prevention efforts through several initiatives. Click here to read more. Find your school district's graduation, completion and dropout rates in MDE's report.

Governor Signs Education Funding Bill 
posted 4/27/2011
Governor Barbour has signed HB1494, the education funding bill, which funds K-12 at about $14-million below the current year level.  Of the $14-million cut, $5.5-million is to the MAEP, all of which is taken from high growth districts.  Click here to see how your school district fared.

 
State Testing Begins This Week 
posted 4/26/2011
 The next three weeks are important ones for students, teachers and schools. State testing begins this week with the Subject Area Test Program (SATP), which assesses proficiency in Algebra I, English II, Biology I and U.S. History. Students must pass these tests prior to graduation. On May 3, students in grades 5 and 8 will take the state science tests, and on May 10-12, all students in grades 3 through 8 will take the Mississippi Curriculum Test II (MCT2). Click here for links to practice tests and the testing schedule and to read more about how testing measures the quality of education being provided in our children's schools.   

School District Funding Levels Released 
posted 4/18/2011
 The Mississippi Department of Education has released information regarding funding for individual school districts for the coming school year.  Click here to learn about your school district's allocation of state funding for the 2011-2012 school year.
House and Senate Adopt Education Funding Conference Report 
posted 4/4/2011 1:10 p.m.
 The House and Senate have adopted the education funding conference report.  The conference report funds all of K-12 at $14-million below this year's level, including a $5.5-million cut to the MAEP. All of the $5.5-million cut to MAEP will come from the high growth formula.  Additionally, all school districts will lose most of their ad valorem tax reduction.  That appropriation is reduced by an additional $6-million, leaving only $2-million in the ad valorem tax reduction line item, a move that is likely to cause local tax increases.  The additional $2.5-million in cuts to K-12 are to line items that do not have a direct impact on school budgets.  The conference report is now available online.
Click here to see which legislators voted for level funding. 

Senate Taking Up Appropriations Bills
posted 4/4/2011 11:28 a.m.
 The Senate has begun taking up appropriations bills, but the bills, including the education funding bill, are not yet available online.

Appropriations Conference Reports Filed But Not Yet Available Online
posted 4/4/2011  9:00 a.m.
The House and Senate calendars indicate that the conference reports on appropriations bills, including the education funding bill, were filed this morning, though the reports are still not available online. 
 House and Senate Convene at 10:00 a.m. Tomorrow
posted 4/3/2011
The House and Senate are set to convene at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow (Monday) and are expected to begin taking up conference reports on appropriations bills.  Thus far, the conference report on the education funding bill, HB1494, has not been posted online, and the Legislative Website does not indicate that the conference report has been filed. 
You can watch the House and Senate floor debate live via webcast at:
 http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/ls_webcast.htm

   House and Senate Extend Legislative Session
posted 3/31/2011
The House and Senate have voted to extend the Legislative Session and to suspend the deadline for filing conference reports.  This move revived appropriations bills, and conference reports on those bills are now being filed, including HB1494, the education funding bill.  The K-12 appropriation misses level funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program by $5.5-million.  The total K-12 budget was cut by $14-million.  The Senate has adjourned until Monday, when they will begin taking up conference reports.  The House will convene tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Budget Negotiators Reach Agreement
posted 3/30/2011  10:25 p.m.
House and Senate budget negotiators reached an agreement tonight that brings K-12 education just short of level funding.  The MAEP will be funded at $5-million less than the current year budget, and total K-12 funding will be about $14-million below level funding. Conference reports will be filed over the next few days and will be taken up by the full House and Senate early next week.
House and Senate Budget Negotiators Still Talking
posted 3/30/2011  9:00 p.m.
House and Senate budget negotiators are at the Capitol attempting to resolve budget differences
.  House Appropriations Chairman Stringer said moments ago that Senate negotiators appear to want to avoid a special session - that is very good news!  The regular session is scheduled to end Saturday.  I will continue to post updates here as talks progress.

Conflicting Information Coming From Lt. Governor's Office
posted 3/30/2011  4:15 p.m.
We've heard from lots of TPC members who have called the Lt. Governor's Office, and it appears that his staff is giving out conflicting information.  Some callers are hearing that the Lt. Governor supports the Senate position for true level funding for all of K-12, some of his staffers say that he supports level funding for the MAEP formula but dramatic cuts in other parts of school budgets (classroom supplies, buildings and buses, etc. - which would have the same effect as cutting MAEP), and some staffers just say they are close to a deal. 
I have confirmed with House negotiators that there 
was no budget deal on K-12 as of 4:00 p.m.
 
I have also heard that the Lt. Governor is on his way back to the Capitol this evening.
Your calls are working - keep them going!
Call the Lt. Governor and tell him to
honor the Senate vote on level funding for all of K-12.
Lt. Governor Phil Bryant  601-359-3200
If you start getting the run-around, clarify that you want him to support the same level of funding that the state appropriated to K-12 last year - no cuts, no off-sets.
Tomorrow could be an interesting day. 
The Senate convenes at 10:00 a.m., and you can view their proceedings live via webcast at:
 http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/ls_webcast.htm

  Calls to Lt. Governor Needed Now! 
posted 3/30/2011
Over 500 citizens rallied at the capitol yesterday, and over a thousand have called the Capitol this week demanding that the education funding votes of the House and Senate be honored.  Both chambers have voted for level funding for all of K-12 education. Today, those holding up the budget seem more willing to talk.  Lt. Governor Phil Bryant now holds the key.
Please call Lt. Governor Bryant today and tell him to honor the Senate vote to provide level funding for all of K-12 education.
Lt. Governor Phil Bryant  601-359-3200

Hundreds Rally at the Capitol 
posted 3/29/2011
Hundreds of citizens rallied at the capitol today, demanding that legislators stop the cuts to K-12 education and other vital state services.  Both houses of the Legislature passed level funding for K-12 education, but Lt. Governor Phil Bryant and Senate Appropriations Chairman Doug Davis have refused to honor the will of the Senate. They continue to push for more cuts to K-12, even though their attempt to reduce the education appropriation was defeated on the floor of the Senate by a 29-22 vote. Theirs is a bizarre attempt to do an end-run around the full Legislature. 
Please ask Senator Davis and Lt. Governor Bryant to honor the will of the Senate and the entire Legislature by providing level state funding to all of K-12 education.
You can reach Senator Davis at 601-359-3250 or ddavis@senate.ms.gov
You can reach Lt. Governor Bryant at 601-359-3200

STOP THE CUTS TO EDUCATION RALLY & PRESS CONFERENCE
TODAY, TUESDAY, MARCH 29
STATE CAPITOL IN JACKSON
SECOND FLOOR    11:00 A.M.
Hosted by the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents
Come join us!

Keep Those Phone Calls Rolling!  1,000+ Calls & Counting
HB1494 Dead But Budget Debate Very Much Alive 
posted 3/28/2011
When conferees failed to file conference reports on funding bills by Saturday's deadline, all budget bills died - including HB1494.  BUT, the budget debate continues.  Contrary to what some have been told IT IS NOT TOO LATE to contact senators about education funding. In fact, this is the perfect time to contact them.
Senator Doug Davis is the lead negotiator for the Senate. 
Please continue to call Senator Davis and ask him to support the House conference proposal for level school funding.
Senator Doug Davis:  601-359-3250
Switchboard: 601-359-3770
We've heard that Senator Davis's voicemail is full - a good sign that lots of calls are going through.  Some members report being able to get through to a person on his office line.  You can also send him a message through the switchboard.
The Capitol switchboard operators tell us they have received over 1,000 phone calls today on the education funding bill, and they are getting those messages to Senators.  You folks are terrific!  Keep it up, and we'll win this thing for our children!
 
Some Senate numbers are going to voicemail with a message that identifies the voice mailbox as belonging to someone other than the senator.  We've been told that this is probably the senator's assistant, so please go ahead and leave your message.  We have reported this problem to the Senate and hope to have it resolved.  It is important that constituents be able to reach their legislators and that constituents be treated with respect.

No Further Progress on Ed Funding Bill
posted 3/27/2011
Senate conferees have still not signed the conference report on HB1494, the education funding bill.
Please call the Senate conferees and tell them to sign the education funding conference report that has already been signed by the House conferees. 
Call Senate conferees at:
Sen. Doug Davis  601-359-3250
Sen. Videt Carmichael  601-359-3244
Sen. Bennie Turner  601-359-3237

Legislators Miss Deadline to File Conference Reports
Governor Calls Senators to Mansion for Closed Meeting
Senate Conferees Refuse to Sign Conference Report that Provides Level Funding to Schools & Leaves Over $210-million in Reserves

posted 3/26/2011  11:00 p.m.
Legislators missed tonight's deadline to file conference reports on appropriations bills.  This means that they will either need to extend the session, or they will have to come back to Jackson in a costly special session to get their work done.  Governor Barbour cut short a campaign trip out of state to return to Mississippi to address the budget situation.  Despite the fact that the House has met the governor's demand to leave over $200-million in reserves - in fact, their budget leaves significantly more in reserve than $200-million - the governor continues to insist that they make an additional $65-million in cuts to the K-12 budget.  Upon returning to Mississippi earlier today, Governor Barbour invited a group of senators to the Governor's Mansion for a closed meeting.  Following that meeting, the appropriations chairs of both chambers met, but no progress was made on the budget.  Senate conferees continue to refuse to sign the conference report that provides level funding for public schools and leaves over $210-million in reserve.

 Education Press Conference and Rally Scheduled
posted 3/26/2011  2:00 p.m.
The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents has scheduled a press conference and rally at the Capitol for Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.  This is an opportunity for education backers to show their support for at least level funding for our schools.  Classroom teachers need to be in the classroom at that time, but others are encouraged to attend the rally in Jackson.
 
Please continue to contact your senators and remind them that:
Senators work for their constituents, not the governor or lieutenant governor.
The duty of conferees is to represent the will of their chambers, not the governor or lieutenant governor.
The Senate expressed its will to provide level funding for schools - to STOP THE CUTS TO EDUCATION - when it voted against the Senate strike all amendment on March 9th.
Senate conferees should sign the education funding conference report already signed by the House, providing level funding for schools and leaving over $210-million in reserve.

    Call Legislators at Home This Weekend
posted 3/26/2011
 The House and Senate have adjourned until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. They need to hear from their constituents while they are at home. House conferees have surpassed the amount that Governor Barbour has requested be left in reserve for next year, yet the governor is still insisting that they make an additional $65-million in cuts to school budgets. He is now claiming to support level funding for the MAEP formula but telling conferees to take $65-million from other areas of school budgets, including:
* Cutting out all teacher supply funds
* Cutting $16-million from the Building and Buses appropriation
* Eliminating all ad valorem tax reduction funds (which will cause local tax increases)
* And other unspecified cuts to school budgets

These cuts have virtually the same effect as cutting MAEP - schools must provide teachers supplies, and buses must run. The funds have to come from somewhere, and so teachers will be lost and local taxes will rise. The House conferees have signed a conference report that provides level funding for schools, and they have sent the signed conference report to the Senate conferees. Senate conferees have thus far refused to sign it, refusing to comply with the will of the Senate as expressed by the full Senate vote to provide level funding to schools.
Call Senators at home this weekend and ask them to pressure their conferees to sign the education funding conference report.
Click 
here to find phone numbers of Senators representing your school district.

  Education on the Chopping Block Again!
posted 3/23/2011
The House and Senate have both voted in favor of level funding for our schools, but a meeting between Governor Barbour and budget negotiators this morning has stalled the process. The governor is insisting that another $77-million be cut from the budget, and he has specifically targeted K-12 education. The disruption caused budget negotiators to miss today's self-imposed deadline to reach a bottom line, and education funding is at risk of being cut.
Call your legislators today and ask that they urge their leadership to uphold the will of the House and Senate.
Click here to see recent news reports about Governor Barbour's push for more education cuts.
Click here to thank the 29 senators who voted against additional budget cuts 2 weeks ago.

  Education Funding Conferees Named
posted 3/19/2011
The House and Senate have named conferees for HB1494, the education funding bill.  They are:
House Conferees:
Rep. Johnny Stringer  601-359-3340
Rep. Cecil Brown  601-359-3330
Rep. Rufus Straughter  601-359-3396
Senate Conferees:
Sen. Doug Davis  601-359-3250
Sen. Videt Carmichael  601-359-3244
Sen. Bennie Turner  601-359-3237
Please ask the conferees to at least maintain the level of funding passed by both the House and Senate.

 
Revised Revenue Estimate Increases Revenue Available to Appropriate
posted 3/15/2011
Mississippi's Joint Revenue Estimating Committee has adopted a revised revenue estimate on which appropriations for the coming year will be based.  The estimating committee is projecting an increase of $6.5-million for the current year and an increase of $14.4-million over earlier projections for FY2012.  The additional revenue that is anticipated should ease budget negotiations somewhat.   

Senators Want Ed Funding Final Passage Vote Acknowledged
posted 3/11/2011
Some senators who are recorded as voting to cut the funding in HB1494, the education funding bill, have pointed to their final passage votes on that bill as evidence of their support for the higher House level of funding. Click here to see a full description of all the Senate votes that were taken on the education funding bill, including the final passage vote.

 VICTORY!
Full Senate Defeats Appropriation Committee Amendment, Adopts House Level of Ed Funding
posted 3/9/2011  11:00 a.m.
This morning the full Senate defeated the Senate Appropriations Committee's strike-all amendment, restoring the House level of funding. The House version is $81-million above what the Senate Appropriations Committee had recommended. This is a tremendous victory for members of The Parents' Campaign who called, wrote and emailed their senators to ask that they not continue to cut school budgets. Please thank the senators who supported more funding for our schools. See voteClick here to read more about the debate. 

 Ed Funding First on Senate Calendar
posted 3/9/2011
The education funding bill is number 1 on the Senate calendar this morning.  The Senate convenes at 9:00 a.m.  You can watch the debate via webcast at http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/ls_webcast.htm.

Senate Appropriations Committee Cuts MAEP Funding
posted 3/8/2011  3:30 p.m.
The Senate Appropriations Committee reduced significantly the funding in HB1494, the education funding bill, stripping $65-million from the MAEP in addition to other cuts. Under this plan, the MAEP would be underfunded by $296-million. The plan funds the MAEP $65-million below the House level of funding and $65-million below what the House and Senate agreed to in the Legislative Budget Recommendation. MDE is conducting an analysis of the bill, and those details will be posted here as soon as we have them. The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote where we are hopeful that the House level of funding will be restored. Click here to see how the $65-million MAEP reduction will affect your school district.

 Senate Appropriations to Meet Today
posted 3/8/2011
The  Senate Appropriations Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. today in Room 216 of the Capitol.  House Bill 1494, the education funding bill, could be debated at this meeting. It is expected that a strike-all amendment will be proposed that would strip $65-million from the MAEP appropriation.  Click here to see what that would mean for your school district. Click here for additional information on the push to reduce the funding in the K-12 funding bill.  We will post an update here following the Appropriations Committee meeting

 No Senate Appropriations Meeting Today
posted 3/3/2011
The Senate Appropriations Committee will not meet today.  The next standing meeting of that committee will be next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., and the K-12 funding bill (HB1494) could be taken up at that time.  Please continue to contact your legislators and ask that they STOP THE CUTS TO EDUCATION.  Click here to contact Senators who represent your school district.  Click here to learn more about Senate leaders' plan to cut the MAEP funding in HB1494 by $65-million. Click here to learn how much your school district could lose.

 No Senate Appropriations Action on Ed Funding Today
posted 3/1/2011  3:30 p.m.
The Senate Appropriations Committee did not take up the K-12 funding bill in its meeting today. Another Senate Appropriations Committee meeting is scheduled for this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Education supporters are encouraged to call their Senators with a plea to STOP THE CUTS TO EDUCATION.  Read more.

Senate Appropriations Committee Meets Today
posted 3/1/2011
The Senate Appropriations Committee meets today at 1:30 p.m., and it could take up the K-12 funding bill.  Senate leaders are pushing to strip $65-million in MAEP funding from the bill, House Bill 1494.  Last year, education was cut at a higher percent than the rest of the budget (read more); now some in the Senate are pushing for even deeper cuts.  Ask your senator to STOP THE CUTS TO EDUCATION.  Click here
to contact the senators who represent your school district.

Some Senators Pushing to Slash MAEP Funding in HB1494
posted 2/24/2011
Some Senators are pushing to strip House Bill 1494, the education funding bill, of $65-million in state funding for MAEP.  Click here to see how much your school district could lose.  Read more.

 House Passes K-12 Funding Bill, Provides Level Funding
posted 2/16/2011
The House of Representatives has passed the K-12 education bill, HB1494. The funding in HB1494 is approximately $25.5-million above the Legislative Budget Recommendation, largely due to a $16.3-million increase in the cost to provide state retirement. HB1494 as passed by the House provides level funding for the MAEP, teacher supply funds, and the National Board Certification Program.  Read more
See vote. 

House Appropriations Committee Takes Up K-12 Funding
posted 2/15/2011
Today, the House Appropriations Committee took up House Bill 1494, the K-12 funding bill. The bill provides level funding (the same funding schools received for the current year) for K-12 education, including the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and the National Board Certified Teacher program. It fully funds the Chickasaw Cession interest payment. Funding in this bill is $25-million above the Legislative Budget Recommendation, due in part to a $16-million increase in the cost to provide state retirement. The bill has been referred to the full House and could be taken up as early as tomorrow.

Barbour Pushes $65-million Cut to MAEP for FY12
posted 2/8/2011
Late last week, Governor Barbour sent a letter to legislative leaders reiterating his position on the state budget and encouraging them to reduce the FY12 MAEP appropriation by $65-million. 
Read more.

Legislative Deadline Today
posted 2/1/2011
Today is the deadline for general bills "originating in OWN House" to be reported out of committee. That means that bills generated by House members must make their way through the House committee process and be reported to the floor of the House today. Likewise in the Senate. Any general bills that are not reported out of committee today will die. This deadline does not apply to appropriations (funding) bills, which have deadlines later in the session.  Click here to see summaries of and action taken on bills that have made it through the committee process.

 IHL Adopts College Prep Curriculum
posted 1/21/2011
The Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning has approved maintaining as a minimum requirement for college entry the existing College Preparatory Curriculum.  In addition, the board adopted an enhanced College Preparatory Curriculum that is recommended, though not required.  Read more.

  MDE Proposes Educator Code of Ethics
posted 1/21/2011
The Mississippi Department of Education has announced the creation of an Educator Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.  The State Board of Education is expected to vote today to release the document for public comment. A task force of 20 educators, community leaders and elected officials worked to draft the code. Additionally, the task force has proposed legislation that provides for the revocation or suspension of a teacher or administrator license in cases of sexual misconduct and to require that incidences of such misconduct be reported.  Read more.

 Governor Barbour Presents Final State of the State
posted 7:00 p.m. 1/11/2011
In his final State of the State address, Governor Barbour gave both chambers of the Mississippi Legislature a summary of the challenges and successes he has experienced as governor. He asked that legislators continue to limit spending with the goal of leaving $200-million in reserve when he leaves office. Governor Barbour acknowledged the importance of a high quality education system to economic development, citing recent improvements in national test scores and encouraging policy changes that would improve dual enrollment, revise charter school legislation, and improve the quality of teachers graduating from colleges of education.

Ed Week Releases Quality Counts Report Card
posted 1/11/2011
Education Week has released its annual Quality Counts report card on the nation's public schools.   Mississippi gets good news and bad news. Read more.
report card on the nation's public schools.   Mississippi gets good news and bad news. 

State of the State Address Tonight
posted 1/11/2011
Governor Barbour is scheduled to present his final State of the State Address at 6:00 p.m. this evening when he will address a joint session of the Mississippi Legislature in the House chamber. The address will be carried live by Mississippi Public Broadcasting. You can watch a webcast of the event at http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/ls_webcast.htm.
Medicaid Reports Surplus, Frees up State Funds
posted 1/6/2011
The Division of Medicaid reports that it expects to have a surplus of at least $40- to $50-million at the end of this fiscal year. That extra funding will help in the looming battle to fund education and other state services.
2011 Legislature Convenes
posted 1/4/2011
The 2011 Session of the Mississippi Legislature convened at noon today.  We at The Parents' Campaign will follow closely education-related legislation and will report important developments to those who have requested our emails.  If you have not signed up to receive our emails and would like to get those updates, click here to sign up.  

In this session, we will focus primarily on the education budget and on ensuring that we do not slip backward regarding the quality of education offered in Mississippi schools.  Click here to read more about the debate surrounding the K-12 education budget for the coming year.


 

Click here to see archived postings from 2010.

 
 
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Click here for an explanation
of the 2006 MAEP vote.