Summaries and Status of Priority Bills
As of 5/25/12 
 
Each year, The Parents' Campaign closely monitors and takes a position on several education bills. Below are the priority bills for the 2012 legislative session that ended May 3. For charter school bills, click here.  

Bills Passed by House and Senate, Signed by Governor:
 
Accreditation 
School District Accreditation: Authorizes State Board of Education to withdraw a school district's accreditation for violation of accreditation standards, without a probationary period. Allows parent or guardian to transfer to an accredited district any student from a school district whose accreditation has been withdrawn, with per pupil funding following student to the accredited school district. Authorizes State Board of Education, for school districts that are declared to be in a state of emergency for a second time, to abolish the school district and administratively consolidate it with one or more existing school districts, with the consent of those districts. Prohibits any school board member or superintendent in office at the time a state of emergency is declared from serving in that office after state of emergency no longer exists.
 
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/20/12
 Passed by Senate Education Committee, 3/6/12
 Passed by full Senate; 37 yeas, 12 nays, 3 present or not voting, 3/15/12  See Vote 
 Referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/21/12
 Passed by House Education Committee, 3/28/12
 Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 4/3/12  
 The bill was amended by the House to change the school and school district accreditation rating system from designations of Star, High Performing, Successful, Academic Watch, Low Performing, At Risk of Failing, and Failing to designations of A, B, C, D, and F, effective with the 2014-2015 school year or upon full implementation of Common Core State Standards and corresponding assessments, whichever is first. The bill also was amended to legislate homework and other assignments in school districts rated below Successful. Passed by full House as amended; 112 yeas, 9 nays, 1 absent,  4/11/12  (The Parents' Campaign does not have a position on the amended version of this bill.) 
 Returned to Senate for concurrence, 4/17/12 
 Senate declined to concur with House version and invited conference on the bill, 4/19/12 
 House conferees: Rep. Alyce ClarkeRep. Toby BarkerRep. John MooreSenate conferees: Sen. Brice WigginsSen. Nancy CollinsSen. Gray Tollison  
 Conference report filed; further amends bill to provide that under a declaration of a state of emergency for any school district in which the Governor has previously declared a state of emergency, the State Board of Education may either establish a conservatorship or abolish the district and administratively consolidate it with one or more existing districts or reduce the size of the district and administratively consolidate parts of the district, stipulates that no school district that is not under conservatorship shall be required to accept additional territory over the objection of the district, removes the previous House amendment that legislates homework and other assignments in districts rated below Successful, 4/29/12
 Conference report adopted by House; 92 yeas, 26 nays, 4 present or not voting, 4/30/12  See Vote
 Conference report adopted by Senate; 43 yeas, 9 nays, 5/2/12 
 Conference report signed by the Governor, 5/16/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the original version of this bill.  
 
Dropout Prevention  
Dual Enrollment - Dual Credit Work Skills Certificate Program: Authorizes students to dually enroll in high school and community college in a dual credit program consisting of high school completion courses and a work skills certificate program. Pilot program in five school districts in 2012-2013 school year; statewide implementation in 2013-2014 school year.  
 
 Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/20/12
 Passed by Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/1/12 
 Passed by full Senate; 52 yeas, 0 nays, 3/13/12  See Vote 
 Referred to House Education and Universities/Colleges Committees, 3/19/12 
 Passed by House Education and Universities/Colleges Committees, 3/28/12
 Amended by full House to initiate program statewide in the 2012-2013 school year and to include career, technical, and degree program community college courses, passed by House as amended; 121 yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent, 4/5/12  See Vote   
 Returned to Senate for concurrence, 4/11/12
 Senate declined to concur with House version and invited conference on the bill, 4/18/12 
 House conferees: Rep. John MooreRep. Greg HollowayRep. Nolan Mettetal; Senate conferees: Sen. Terry BurtonSen. Gray TollisonSen. Nancy Collins  
 Conference report filed; further amends to prohibit program enrollees from participating in high school interscholastic or extracurricular activities, 4/27/12
 Conference report adopted by House; 120 yeas, 1 nay, 4/30/12  
 Conference report adopted by Senate; 52 yeas, 0 nays, 5/2/12 
 Conference report signed by the Governor, 5/14/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill.
 
Resources/Funding
K-12 Education Appropriation for Fiscal Year 2013: Provides $27-million increase in MAEP funding above current year, of which $23-million is designated to cover increased cost of teacher retirement. Provides $4.7-million classroom supply funding above current year. Fully funds National Board Certification program and fully funds Chickasaw Cession payments.   

 Referred to House Appropriations Committee, 3/22/12
 Passed by House Appropriations Committee, 3/22/12
 Passed by full House; 114 yeas, 7 nays, 1 absent, 3/22/12  See Vote
 Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee, 3/26/12
 Amended in a strike-all by Senate Appropriations Committee to increase MAEP funding by $23.4-million over current year, which is intended to cover the $17.9-million formula increase as well as funding for high growth districts; also fully funds National Board Certification Program and Chickasaw Cession payments. Passed by Committee as amended, 4/12/12
 Strike-all amendment passed by full Senate; 51 yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent, 4/13/12 (The Parents' Campaign does not have a position on the amended version of this bill.) 
 Returned to House for concurrence, 4/17/12
 House declined to concur with Senate version and invited conference on the bill, 4/18/12 
 House conferees: Rep. Herb FriersonRep. John MooreRep. Toby Barker; Senate conferees: Sen. Buck ClarkeSen. Videt CarmichaelSen. Terry Burton
 Conference report filed; funds MAEP at $19.4-million over current level, funds teacher supplies at total of $8-million ($2-million over current level), fully funds National Board Certification Program and Chickasaw Cession payments, reduces by half the funding for high-growth districts (same as current year), appropriates $6-million to Teach for America, and allocates $500,000 to fund a study of the MAEP formula, 4/27/12  
 Conference report adopted by Senate; morning roll call vote, 0 nays, 1 present, 4/28/12 
 Conference report adopted by House; 115 yeas, 6 nays, 4/28/12 
 Conference report signed by the Governor, 5/10/12 
  
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on the original version of this bill.    
 
 
Bills That Died on Calendar or in Committee:
 
Accreditation 
House Bill 1207  (Dead)
School District Accreditation: Authorizes State Board of Education to withdraw a school district's accreditation for violation of accreditation standards, without a probationary period. Allows parent or guardian to transfer to an accredited district any student from a school district whose accreditation has been withdrawn, with per pupil funding following student to the accredited school district. Authorizes State Board of Education, for school districts that are declared to be in a state of emergency for a second time, to abolish the school district and administratively consolidate it with one or more existing school districts. Prohibits establishment of a conservatorship for such districts. 
 
 Referred to House Education Committee, 2/20/12
 Passed by House Education Committee, 3/5/12
 Passed by full House; 104 yeas, 14 nays, 2 present or not voting, 2 absent, 3/15/12  See Vote
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 3/20/12
 Died on calendar, 4/3/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill. 
 
Appointed Superintendents 
Requires the appointment, rather than election, of all local school superintendents by their local school boards beginning January 1, 2016. At the expiration of the term of any county superintendent of education elected in the November 2011 general election, the superintendent of said county shall not be elected but shall thereafter be subject to appointment by the local school board.
 
 Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/3/12 
• Amended by Senate Education Committee to authorize a referendum on the question of retaining the office of elected county superintendent of education pursuant to petition by registered voters prior to January 1, 2015; passed by Committee as amended, 3/1/12 
 Passed by full Senate; 43 yeas, 9 nays, 3/13/12  See Vote 
 Referred to House Education Committee, 3/19/12
 Amended (strike-all) by House Education Committee to create a task force to study the effectiveness of elected and appointed school superintendents; passed by Committee as amended, 4/3/12 
 Strike-all amendment passed by full House; 92 yeas, 27 nays, 2 present not voting, 1 absent,  4/10/12  See Vote 
 Returned to Senate for concurrence, 4/11/12
 Senate declined to concur with House version and invited conference on the bill, 4/18/12
 House conferees: Rep. Alyce ClarkeRep. Kevin McGeeRep. John MooreSenate conferees: Sen. Gray TollisonSen. John PolkSen. Angela Hill   
 Died in conference, 4/30/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill. 
 
Appointed Superintendents 
Original bill amended by Senate to require the appointment, rather than election, of all local school superintendents by their local school boards beginning January 1, 2016. At the expiration of the term of any county superintendent of education elected in the November 2011 general election, the superintendent of said county shall not be elected but shall thereafter be subject to appointment by the local school board. Pursuant to a petition by registered voters prior to January 1, 2015, a referendum may be held on the question of retaining the office of elected county superintendent of education
 
 Passed by full Senate as amended; 37 yeas, 15 nays, 4/10/12  See Vote
 Returned to House for concurrence, 4/12/12
 House declined to concur with Senate version and invited conference on the bill, 4/17/12
 House conferees: Rep. John MooreRep. Toby BarkerRep. Jeffrey Guice; Senate conferees: Sen. Videt CarmichaelSen. Brice WigginsSen. Gray Tollison   
 Died in conference, 4/30/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill.
 
Charter Schools
Original bill amended by Senate to Mississippi Public Charter Schools Act of 2012: Allows conversion and start-up public charter schools to locate throughout the state. Prohibits virtual charter schools, but allows charter schools to contract for virtual classes according to current state statute. Star and High Performing school districts must give local school board approval for charters to locate within their districts. Successful school districts must give local board approval to charter applicants until July 1, 2015, after which time charter schools may locate in Successful districts without local board approval. Creates the seven-member Mississippi Public Charter School Accountability Board to serve as the sole authorizer of charter schools: three members appointed by the Governor, three appointed by the Lt. Governor, and one appointed by the State Superintendent of Education. Grants the authorizer power to exempt charter schools from some state statutes. Students may cross district lines to attend charter schools. Allows state and local per pupil funding to follow students. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability assessments and ratings as traditional public schools. 

 Passed by full Senate as amended; 31 yeas, 19 nays, 1 present not voting, 1 absent, 4/11/12 See Vote
 Returned to House for concurrence, 4/12/12
 House declined to concur with Senate version and invited conference on the bill, 4/23/12
 House conferees: Rep. Chuck Espy, Rep. Brad Mayo, Rep. John Moore; Senate conferees: Sen. Angela Hill, Sen. Nancy Collins, Sen. Gray Tollison
 Died in conference, 4/30/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill. 
 
Charter Schools 
Mississippi Public Charter Schools Act of 2012: Allows conversion, start-up, and virtual public charter schools to locate throughout the state. High Performing and Star school districts must give board approval for charters to locate within their districts. Creates the Mississippi Public Charter School Accountability Board, which consists of seven appointed members, to serve as the sole authorizer of charter schools. Students may cross district lines to attend charter schools. Allows state and local per pupil funding to follow students. Charter schools are subject to the same accountability assessments and ratings as traditional public schools.
 
•  Referred to Senate Education Committee, 2/15/12
•  Amended by Senate Education Committee to prohibit virtual charter schools and to allow pre-k to be offered in charter schools if privately funded; passed by Committee as amended, 2/21/12
  Debated by full Senate; Amendment 1 proposed to authorize charters only for Low Performing, At Risk of Failing, and Failing schools; amendment failed; 19 yeas, 32 nays, 1 absent; 2/22/12  See Vote 

The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this amendment. 

 Bill passed by full Senate without amendments; 34 yeas, 17 nays, 1 absent, 2/22/12  See Vote
Held on a motion to reconsider, 2/22/12
Motion to reconsider tabled, 2/23/12
Transmitted to House of Representatives, 2/23/12
Referred to House Education Committee, 2/23/12
 Defeated by House Education Committee; 15 yeas, 16 nays,  4/3/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill
 
Charter Schools 
House Bill 888 (Dead)
Mississippi Public Charter Schools Act of 2012: Allows conversion, start-up, and virtual public charter schools to locate throughout the state. Allows multiple authorizers of charter schools. Allows students to cross district lines to attend charter schools and provides for state and local per pupil funding to follow students. Holds charter schools to the same accountability assessments and ratings as traditional public schools.
 
Referred to House Education Committee, 2/20/12 
 Amended by House Education Committee to allow conversion and start-up public charter schools only in districts rated Successful or below, to require that charter management organizations have a track record of success, to authorize virtual public schools (referred to in original bill as "virtual public charter schools") to contract with a charter authorizer to offer educational services predominately through an online program; passed by Committee as amended; 14 yeas, 12 nays, 2/29/12
 Tabled subject to call, 3/13/12
 Died on calendar, 3/15/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors amendments to this bill. See preferred amendments here
 
Dropout Prevention  
Mississippi Works Dual Enrollment - Dual Credit Option: Program for those who have dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out. Pilot program in five school districts in 2012-2013 school year; statewide implementation beginning in 2013-2014 school year. Allows simultaneous enrollment in high school and community college to receive dual credit for high school completion courses and a work skills certificate program. Community college courses provided at no cost to students.
 
 Referred to House Education and Universities and Colleges Committees, 2/20/12
 Passed by House Education Committee, 3/1/12
 Passed by full House; 117 yeas, 1 nay, 3 present but not voting,1 absent, 3/8/12  See Vote
 Held on a motion to reconsider, 3/8/12
 Motion to reconsider tabled, 3/9/12  
 Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/15/12  
• Amended by Senate Education Committee to initiate program statewide in the 2012-2013 school year and to include career, technical, and degree program community college courses  
• Passed by Senate Education and Appropriations Committees as amended, 3/29/12
 Passed by full Senate; 51 yeas, 0 nays, 1 absent, 4/4/12  See Vote 
 House declined to concur with Senate version and invited conference on the bill, 4/9/12
 House conferees: Rep. Nolan MettetalRep. Greg HollowayRep. John Moore; Senate conferees: (not yet available)  
 Died in conference, 4/30/12 
  
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill.
  
Early Childhood Education 
Mississippi UPSTART Project:  Creates home-based virtual learning program for preschoolers. Authorizes State Board of Education to contract with a not-for-profit organization to deliver services. Requires Mississippi Department of Education to provide computer equipment and free Internet service to qualifying families participating in the project. Provides no funding for MDE to meet that obligation. Aims to test the feasibility of scaling a home-based virtual learning program to prepare children for kindergarten, delivered by computers and the Internet to all preschool children in the State of Mississippi.
 
 Referred to House Education Committee, 2/20/12
 Passed by House Education Committee, 3/2/12 
 Passed by full House; 106 yeas, 11 nays, 3 present or not voting, 2 absent, 3/14/12  See Vote
 Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/20/12
 Died on calendar, 4/3/12 
 
The Parents' Campaign favors a "nay" vote on this bill. 
 
Shared Services 
Central School District Shared Services Office System: Requires each county to establish an implementation schedule for the establishment of a Central School District Shared Services Office System in each county in the state. All school districts located in the county will utilize one central office for procurement, purchasing, transportation, information technology services (exclusive of any technology used for student data and faculty/staff personal information), child nutrition, and other administrative services. Two counties per congressional district will participate in pilot implementation in 2013-2014 school year. After the pilot year, any school district may elect to participate in the system, by a majority vote of the county board of supervisors and the school board.
 
 Referred to House Education and Appropriations Committees, 2/20/12
 Passed by House Education Committee, 3/6/12
 Passed by full House; 92 yeas, 23 nays, 5 present or not voting, 2 absent, 3/15/12  See Vote
Referred to Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, 3/28/12
 Died on calendar, 4/3/12 
   
The Parents' Campaign favors a "yea" vote on this bill. 
 
 

 
 

 
 
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Click here for an explanation
of the 2006 MAEP vote.