Now is the Time for Greater Resolve... Our Takeaways from September Education News

The Mississippi Public Education PAC monitors news from across the state that impacts public education. Below is a recap of a couple of important developments in Mississippi education news along with some of our takeaways. It's easy for public school supporters to feel discouraged when we see stories like those in this month's news, but at MSPEPAC, they only increase our resolve to advocate for all of Mississippi's public school students. Thank you for staying engaged and helping to ensure that our schools are adequately funded so that every student has the opportunity to succeed.

Two stories dominated Mississippi’s Education News last week…

One. Mississippi’s Charter School Authorizer Board approved the state’s first rural charter school. Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School is set to serve K-2 students in Clarksdale, Mississippi, beginning in August 2018. The charter school will operate in an area that already supports two struggling public school districts, as well as a magnet school. Clarksdale Collegiate plans to increase enrollment to more than 600 students in K-8 over the next 10 years, draining a decade’s worth of state funds from public schools already struggling to serve their students.

Two. The Mississippi Department of Education asked Governor Phil Bryant to declare a state of emergency in the state’s second largest public school district. The move served as the first step in a takeover of Jackson Public Schools which serves 27,000 students in the capital city. In an unusual show of community outcry against the takeover, parents and school board members in the struggling district have expressed frustration at being handicapped in their efforts to succeed by repeated lack of funding from the state combined with an additional draining of funds as charter schools have expanded in the area.

OUR TAKEAWAYS…

  • Many of our public schools are struggling to succeed. 
    It’s undeniable. Many districts are in a state of failure with low achievement ratings and children falling through the cracks. Even our highest achieving districts are hindered by a lack of resources, ever-changing high-stakes testing, and the struggle to attract innovative teachers.

  • Lack of funding has far-reaching consequences.
    Those consequences impact not just individual schools, but whole communities. The cumulative effect of decades of underfunding by the Mississippi Legislature, combined with the draining of existing funds through expansion of privatization is setting our schools up for failure. And that failure is jeopardizing the economic future of our entire state.

  • Now is not the time to give up.
    The news isn’t good. And behind every news story are tens of thousands of Mississippi children whose potential is going untapped. Whose future is in question. Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to strengthen our resolve. Now is the time to fight harder to ensure our public schools have all the resources they need to help each child succeed.
Together, we can work to elect Mississippi Legislators who will make funding our public schools a priority, giving them a fair chance to succeed. Our children are depending on us.

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  • Haley Montgomery
    published this page in Blog 2017-09-20 18:14:21 -0500