Part 1: What’s the State of Public Education in Mississippi? | @ISSUE | MPB


[ MUSIC ] >>>HELLO AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. I’M WILSON STRIBBLING. WELCOME TO PART ONE OF A SPECIAL SERIES ON @ ISSUE. WE ARE WEEKS AWAY FROM THE NOVEMBER 5 GENERAL ELECTION WHEN MISSISSIPPIANS WILL GO TO THE POLLS TO CHOOSE WHICH CANDIDATES WILL REPRESENT STATEWIDE OFFICES LIKE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES HAVE ROLLED OUT THEIR PLANS FOR MISSISSIPPI AND PUBLIC EDUCATION IS A PRIMARY FOCUS. MAJOR PARTY CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TATE REEVES, A REPUBLICAN FROM RANKIN COUNTY AND ATTORNEY GENERAL JIM HOOD, A DEMOCRAT FROM CHICKASAW COUNTY. IN THE RACE FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE DELBERT HOSEMANN IS A REPUBLICAN FROM VICKSBURG CURRENT STATE REPRESENTATIVE JAY HUGHES IS A DEMOCRAT FROM OXFORD. LATER IN THE SERIES, WE WILL HEAR FROM THOSE CANDIDATES AS THEY DISCUSS THEIR PUBLIC EDUCATION PLANS, BUT FIRST @ ISSUE TONIGHT WE ARE TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STATUS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR JOINING US TO DISCUSS AND DEBATE THE ISSUES ARE TWO EDUCATION ADVOCATES, GRANT CALLAN FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF EMPOWERED MISSISSIPPI. NANCY LOOME IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MISSISSIPPI PARENTS CAMPAIGN. WELCOME, BOTH YOU, TO @ ISSUE AS WE TALK ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT TOPIC THAT HAS BEEN A BIG TOPIC IN ALL THESE CAMPAIGNS THAT ARE LEADING UP TO THE GENERAL ELECTION. NANCY, LET ME START WITH YOU. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STATUS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN MISSISSIPPI. BOTH IN TERMS OF RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND BASED ON ISSUES OR CONCERNS YOU HAVE?>>I WOULD SAY THERE IS GOOD NEWS, THERE’S SOME VERY GOOD NEWS. THERE IS ALSO NEWS THAT IS A LITTLE CONCERNING. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT AS WE HAVE SEEN OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DECADES, NATIONAL TEST SCORES AND STATEWIDE TEST SCORES ARE CONTINUING TO IMPROVE. STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN MISSISSIPPI IS CONTINUING TO IMPROVE. WHAT WE ALSO SEE IS THAT ACHIEVEMENT ACTUALLY IS OUTPACING THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IN TERMS OF IMPROVEMENT. SO THAT IS VERY GOOD NEWS. WE KNOW THAT OUR TEACHERS ARE DOING A BETTER JOB WITH WHAT THEY ARE GIVEN RESOURCE WISE THAN ARE THE TEACHERS IN MOST OTHER STATES. AND SO THEY HAVE SHOWN THAT YOU INVEST IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING WHEN THE STATE DECIDES TO INVEST IN WHAT THEY ARE DOING, THEY DO A REALLY GOOD JOB WITH THOSE RESOURCES. BUT WE ALSO SEE IS THAT THAT SPENDING ACHIEVEMENT TRACKS VERY CLOSELY WITH THE SPENDING. AND SO WE KNOW THAT IN YEARS OR HAVE FULLY FUNDED THE MA EP AND INVESTED MORE IN OUR SCHOOLS, ACHIEVEMENT HAS REALLY ACCELERATED.NOW, IN VERY RECENT YEARS, WE KNOW WE HAVE HAD THE WORST UNDERFUNDING OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR STATE. BUT WE HAVE ALSO SEEN ACCELERATION IN OUR TESTED SUBJECTS NATIONWIDE. SUBJECTS WE TEST ON NATIONAL LEVELS ARE MATH AND READING. AND WE HAVE SEEN SOME REAL ACCELERATION THERE.HOW CAN THOSE TWO THINGS BE TRUE IF THE ACHIEVEMENT TRACKS THE FUNDING BUT WE ARE SEEING THE WORST FUNDING. WE HAVE SEEN SOME VERY TARGETED ADDITIONAL FUNDING IN THIRD AND FOURTH GRADE READING. AND READING AT THE EARLY LEVELS. AND SO WE SEE THIS BUMP. IN BOTH OUR READING AND MATH SCORES. IF YOU CAN READ THE MATH QUESTIONS, YOU DO BETTER ON MATH TEST TOO. WHAT WE KNOW IS OUR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ARE DOING WHAT WE ARE ASKING THEM TO DO. AND WHERE WE ARE MAKING THOSE INVESTMENTS WE ARE SEEING REAL IMPROVEMENTS FORGET AND THAT’S GREAT NEWS. BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT BECAUSE SOME OF THAT SPENDING IS VERY TARGETED, THE IMPROVEMENT WE ARE SEEING IN OUR NATIONAL TEST SCORES IS MASKING REAL PROBLEMS WE HAVE IN OTHER AREAS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION WHERE OUR SCHOOLS ARE BEING STARVED OF RESOURCES. WE HAVE A MASSIVE TEACHER SHORTAGE. WE ARE AT CRISIS LEVELS IN TERMS OF A TEACHER SHORTAGE, WHICH MEANS CLASS SIZES ARE RISING. WE ARE SEEING LESS FOCUSED AND UNTESTED AREAS THAT WE WERE LIKE. SCHOOLS ARE HAVING TO COMPROMISE ON THINGS LIKE THE ARTS IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND THINGS WE KNOW ARE REALLY IMPORTANT TO MAKING OUR STUDENTS A WELL-ROUNDED PEOPLE THAT WE WANT THEM TO BE. SO, THERE’S GOOD NEWS BUT THEN THERE IS THIS OTHER NEWS TOO THAT HAS REALLY CREATED A REAL CRISIS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS.>>WHAT ABOUT YOU? YOUR OPINION OF THE STATUS OF PUBLICATION ÃPUBLIC EDUCATION IN TERMS OF RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CONCERNS YOU HAVE.>>SURE. KIND OF LIKE THE WAY NANCY FRAMED IT IN TERMS OF THERE IS GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS. I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT. THERE IS A LOT TO CELEBRATE OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. GRADUATION RATES ARE ON THE INCREASE. WE ARE SEEING ACHIEVEMENT SCORES, SPECIFICALLY MAEP SCORES. WE HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE GREATEST GAINS IN MISSISSIPPI’S SCORES COMPARED TO OTHER STATES IN RECENT YEARS. BUT THOSE GAINS ARE NOT HAPPENING ACROSS THE ENTIRE STATE. IT’S REALLY WHAT I DESCRIBED AS A TALE OF TWO TOWNS. YOU HAVE POCKETS IN THE STATE WHERE OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS REALLY SERVING STUDENTS WELL AND KIDS ARE ACHIEVING BEING PREPARED FOR COLLEGE CAREER, BUT THERE ARE ALSO PLACES WHERE THEY ARE NOT. UNTIL THE BIGGEST CONCERN I HAVE IS THAT IF YOU ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN, OR IF YOU ARE LOW INCOME OR IF YOU ARE SPECIAL NEEDS, YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING A GREAT EDUCATION IN MISSISSIPPI IS NOT GREAT. AND WE CONTINUE TO SEEN THE RESULTS IN THOSE PARTICULAR CONSTITUENCIES IS NOT WHAT IT NEEDS TO BE. AND SO WE HAVE GOT TO DO THINGS TO CONTINUE TO IMPROVE PUBLIC EDUCATION, BUT WE HAVE ALSO GOT TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP THOSE THAT HAVE FALLEN THROUGH THE CRACKS. THAT’S WHY OUR ORGANIZATION HAS ADVOCATED FOR GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUT ALSO ADDITIONAL EDUCATION OPTIONS FOR PARENTS. BECAUSE WE SEE TOO MANY KIDS ARE STILL FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS.AND EVEN IN OUR BEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS, WE DON’T MEET THE NEEDS OF EVERY STUDENT. WE BELIEVE CHOICE IS ONE WAY TO DO THAT. MISSISSIPPI HAS STARTED DOWN THE PATH. WE HAVE A CHOICE PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS. WE HAVE CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT ARE SERVING STUDENTS IN JACKSON AND IN PARTS OF THE DELTA.ND WE ARE SEEING GREAT RESULTS THERE. WE ARE SEEING THAT THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE IN EITHER OR.OU WILL HAVE TO CHOOSE TO HAVE GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR GIVE APPROVAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND CHOOSE CHOICE. WAS DUE BOTH. LET’S HELP OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, BUT TELL PARENTS THAT NEED AN ADDITIONAL EDUCATION OPTION. AND BY DOING THAT WE CAN CREATE A STATE THAT GIVES EVERY CHILD ANOPPORTUNITY TO BE SUCCESSFUL.>>Wilson Stribling: WE WILL TALK MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT CHOICE AND CHARTER SCHOOLS HERE IN A MOMENT, BUT LET’S TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT SCHOOL FUNDING . SPECIFICALLY IN AP FOR THE MISSISSIPPI ADEQUATE EDUCATION PROGRAM. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT MAEP AND WHAT DO YOU NOT LIKE ABOUT IT?>>PROBABLY THE BEST THING ABOUT IN AP IS IT DOES IMPROVE AND FOCUS ON EQUITY. IN FACT, THERE WAS A RECENT STUDY DONE THAT SHOWED THAT IF YOU LOOK AT EVERY STATE, MISSISSIPPI IS IN THE TOP SIX. AND EQUITABLE FUNDING OF OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS. IN SOME STATES YOU HAVE A SITUATION WHERE I WILL SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACTUALLY RECEIVE MORE STATE FUNDING THAN LOW WEALTH SCHOOL DISTRICTS, WHICH IS ABSURD. BUT IN MISSISSIPPI WE DON’T REALLY DO IT THAT WAY. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WHEN THE FORMULA IS NOT FULLY FUNDED, THE EQUITY PIECE REALLY SUFFERS. AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE SEEING UNDER THIS CURRENT ADMINISTRATION IS THAT THEY HAVE DRAMATICALLY UNDERFUNDED. WE HAVE THE WORST UNDERFUNDING OF THE MHP IN OUR HISTORY. IF YOU COMPARE THIS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PAST EIGHT YEARS TO PRIOR ADMINISTRATIONS EIGHT YEARS, UNDER THE BARBER ADMINISTRATION ÃWE HAVE THE GREAT RECESSION DURING THOSE EIGHT YEARS. AND SO DURING THAT TIME THE MIP WAS ACTUALLY FULLYFUNDED . AND GOT REALLY CLOSE TO IT ANOTHER COUPLE YEARS. AND EVEN DURING THE GREAT RECESSION, IF YOU LOOK AT THE TOTAL EIGHT YEARS, THE TOTAL UNDERFUNDING ACROSS THOSE YEARS WAS $960 MILLION, WHICH IS A LOT. THAT’S A LONG. BUT THIS PAST EIGHT YEARS, THIS ADMINISTRATION, THE TOTAL EARNED UNDERFUNDING OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS WITHOUT A GREAT RECESSION HAS BEEN $2 BILLION. IT HAS BEEN REALLY DRAMATIC. AND SO THE EQUITY PIECE HAS REALLY SUFFERED. NOW, COULD IT BE IMPROVED? CERTAINLY. WE COULD PUT MORE MONEY IN FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, WE COULD INCREASE THE PERCENT THAT GOES TO CHILDREN WHO ARE IN LOW INCOME FAMILIES OR TO THE DISTRICTS THAT HAVE HIGH PERCENTAGES OF CHILDREN IN LOW INCOME FAMILIES. LET ME GET A WORD OF CAUTION. WE SAW RECENTLY IN THIS ADMINISTRATION IS THAT THEY SAID WE NEED TO ÃTHIS IS AN OUTDATED FORMULA. WE NEED TO REVISE THIS FORMULA. BUT THE OBVIOUS GOAL BECAME PRETTY CLEAR PRETTY QUICKLY THAT THE GOAL WAS FOR THE FORMULA TO GENERATE A NUMBER THAT WAS CONSIDERABLY LOWER THAN WHAT THE CURRENT FORMULA GENERATES. THEY TRY TO MARKET THIS LOWER FORMULA, WORSE FORMULA TO HIGH NEEDS DISTRICTS, LOW INCOMES DISTRICTS BY SAYING WE ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU A GREATER PERCENTAGE OF THIS NEW FORMULA. WHAT THEY WERE DOING WAS CUTTING THE AMOUNT OF FUNDING THAT EVERYBODY WOULD GET. THEY ARE SAYING WE ARE GOING TO CUT THOSE OTHER PEOPLE EVEN MORE THAN WHAT WE CUT YOU. SO DO WE THINK THE FORMULA COULD BE IMPROVED? SURE. IT COULD BE. OR NEIGHBORING STATES SPEND FAR MORE THAN WE DO IN MISSISSIPPI. WE COULD HAVE A FORMULA THAT GENERATES A LEVEL OF FUNDING THAT IS EQUAL WHAT OUR NEIGHBORING STATES PROVIDE. BUT WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO DO IS GO BACKWARD. THAT IS WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION TRY TO DO WHEN THEY PROPOSE THEIR NEW FUNDING FORMULA. WAS TO TAKE US BACKWARD.>>Wilson Stribling: GRANT, YOUR THOUGHTS?>>WELL, I THINK IF YOU ASKED THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, THEY WOULD SAY THEY ARE UNDERFUNDED. IF YOU ASK IN THE HEALTH THEY WOULD SAY THEY ARE UNDERFUNDED. IF YOU ASK ANY STATE AGENCY, YOU WOULD SEE THEY ARE UNDERFUNDED BY WHAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET. THAT IS SIMPLY BECAUSE WE ARE A FOUR STATE. WE ARE SEEING OUR ECONOMY GROW AND THAT’S TERRIFIC, BUT IN TERMS OF ÃREVENUES ARE UP DRAMATICALLY. BUT IT’S GOING TO TAKE A WHILE BEFORE WE ARE ABLE TO SPEND WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO SPEND ON AGENCIES. WHAT MATTERS MOST IS NOT NECESSARILY HOW MUCH WE SPENT , BUT HOW WE SPEND WHAT WE HAVE. REGARDING HOW MUCH WE SPENT, WHAT NANCY DIDN’T MENTION WAS HER STUDENT SPENDING HAS CLIMBED JUST ABOUT EVERY YEAR IN THE LAST DECADE. BECAUSE OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS STUDENT POPULATION HAS DECLINED. THAT HAS GIVEN MORE MONEY PER STUDENT FOR THOSE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. WE ARE DOWN ABOUT 20,000 STUDENTS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. HER STUDENT SPENDING HAS CLIMBED EVERY YEAR.ND THAT HAS BEEN IN THIS LAST ADMINISTRATION. BUT WHAT MATTERS EVEN MORE IS WHO CONTROLS IT AND IS IT GETTING TO THE CLASSROOM. AND WE LIKED THE IDEA OF A NEW FUNDING FORMULA THAT WAS MORE STUDENT CENTERED. NANCY IS RIGHT. ARE IN AP HAS DONE SOME GOOD THINGS FOR EQUITY, BUT IT IS ALSO DONE SOME BAD THINGS AND IT IS NOT AS EQUITABLE AS IT COULD BE. FOR INSTANCE, IT GIVES NO MONEY FOR STUDENTS THAT ENGLISH IS A SECOND LANGUAGE. ANOTHER POINT, IT ONLY HAS A FIVE PERCENT ADD-ON FOR STUDENTS IN HIGH POVERTY. THE FUNDING FORMULA THAT WAS CONSIDERED A COUPLE YEARS AGO IN THE LEGISLATOR WASN’T PERFECT, BUT IT CERTAINLY WENT A LONG WAY TO BE IN MUCH MORE STUDENT CENTERED, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS AND THEN I THINK IT’S CRITICAL WE GIVE TEACHERS AND PRINCIPALS AND FLEXIBILITY OF THEIR BUDGET FOR HOW WE SPEND THOSE DOLLARS. AND PROGRAM THAT, WE HAVE GOT TO GIVE PARENTS THE TOOLS HUNDRED AND A FUNDING FORMULA TO MAKE SURE THE STUDENTS NEEDS ARE BEING MET. AND SO THAT’S WHERE GIVING ADDITIONAL CHOICES KNOBS TO DO THAT.>>CAN I COMMENT? ONE OF THE THINGS GRANT MENTIONED WAS FLEXIBILITY ON THIS IDEA SOMEHOW WHAT WE HAVE IS NOT STUDENT CENTERED ENOUGH. WHEN FUNDING FLOWS FROM THE STATE, WHEN FUNDING IS APPROPRIATE AT OUR SCHOOLS AND FLOWS FROM THE STATE TO THE SCHOOLS, THEY HAVE 100 PERCENT FLEXIBILITY IN HOW THEY SPEND THOSE FUNDS. THERE IS NO DESIGNATION AND HOW THEY MUCH MUST SPEND THOSE STATE FUNDS. THEY CAN SPIN THEM ANYWAY THEY NEED 2 TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS. AND SO WHAT MATTERS TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS HOW MUCH MONEY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT GETS. BECAUSE OF STATE DOESN’T SAY YOU HAVE TO SPEND THIS YEAR AND THIS YEAR. IT’S THE OVERALL AMOUNT THAT COMES TO THE DISTRICT THAT MATTERS. SO THE WAY THE FORMULA IS FIGURED REALLY IS INCONSEQUENTIAL TO THE DISTRICT . IS THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT COMES TO THE DISTRICT THAT MATTERS. THAT WAS KIND OF THE TRICKERY IN WHAT WAS DONE WITH THIS NEW PROPOSED FUNDING FORMULA. THEY REALLY FOCUSED ON THIS ATTENTION ON THE WEIGHTS AND HOW MUCH WEIGHT GOES HERE. BUT ALL THOSE WEIGHTS WERE MULTIPLIED BY THE BAY STUDENT COST, WHICH THEY CUT. IT WAS 1/3 ABOUT THE CURRENT STUDENT CAUSE IS. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU INCREASE THE MULTIPLIER IF YOU BACK AND HAVE MORE TAKEDOWN TO 1/3 THE STUDENT COST. ALL OF THAT IS SPENT. WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT FUNDING GETS TO THE DISTRICT.>>AND THE NEW FORMULA PROPOSED, THIS WAS A COUPLE YEARS AGO, WITH INCREASED FUNDING. IT MIGHT NOT HAVE MET THE OLD FORMULAS HIGH BAR. IT WOULD’VE INCREASED FUNDING YEAR-OVER-YEAR FROM THE PREVIOUS YEARS AND THE MOST HIGH POVERTY DISTRICTS WOULD HAVE GOTTEN MORE OF IT.>>BUT YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT OF CHANGING APPROPRIATION, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT CHANGING THE LAW.>>INCREASED MONEY YEAR-OVER-YEAR.>>THE OPERATION,ASSUMING THEY APPROPRIATED WHAT THEY SAID. BUT IF YOU COMPARE THE LAW .>>LEGISLATORS HAVE THE POWER TO APPROPRIATE MONEY. THEM THE CONTROL ABOUT WHERE THEY APPROPRIATE AND HOW MUCH. THEY CAN INCREASE MONEY AND YOU HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE OVER THE LAST DECADE.>>Wilson Stribling: LET’S MOVE ON AND TALK ABOUT MORE OF WHAT IS TO COME. LET’S MOVE ON TO A SUBJECT I KNOW IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE SPENT A LOT OF ENERGY ON. THAT IS CHARTER SCHOOL SPIRIT THERE WAS A RECENT SURVEY CONDUCTED BY MISSISSIPPI FIRST THAT SHOWED A LOT MISPERCEPTIONS ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOL SCHOOLS. WHAT YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE COMMON MISPERCEPTIONS PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS? HOW THEY CAME ABOUT, WHY THEY CAME ABOUT AND HOW THEY ARE DOING RIGHT NOW IN MISSISSIPPI?>>THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION PARIS CHARTER SCHOOLS WAS AN EXTENDED BATTLE TO GET TO A POINT WHERE THE LEGISLATOR WAS COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF ALLOWING CHARTER SCHOOLS TO BE CREATED. WE WILL THE LAW STATES IN THE NATION TO ALLOW CHARTER SCHOOLS. AND THERE WAS A LOT OF FEAR MONGERING THAT WENT ON BEFORE THE LAWS PASSED. MANY PEOPLES SAID THINGS LIKE CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE JUST ANOTHER WAY TO RECYCLE GREAT OUR SCHOOLS. OR CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE KIND OF LIKE DELETE MOSTLY WHITE PRIVATE ACADEMIES. NEITHER OF THOSE COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. CHARTER SCHOOLS HAVE OPENED UP, NOW THAT WE ARE FIVE YEARS AND WE HAVE SEEN THEM OPEN UP IN THE COMMUNITIES OF HIGHEST NEED. THERE IN SOME OF THE POOREST ZIP CODES IN THE STATE.THEY ARE SERVING STUDENTS WHO ARE ON AVERAGE TWO GRADE LEVELS BEHIND . THEY ARE OVERWHELMINGLY MINORITY STUDENTS. AND THEY ARE DOING REALLY, REALLY WELL. AND SO IT’S GREAT TO SEE THEM Ã NOW A FEW YEARS IN PRINT FOR YOUR VIEWERS, I WOULD SAY THE BEST THING YOU COULD DO IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT CHARTERS IS GO VIEW THEM. THEY WOULD LOVE TO SHOW YOU AROUND AND I HAVE TOURED ALL OF THEM OF AN OPEN AND THEY ARE DOING GREAT. THE RECENT LETTER GRADES CAME OUT A COUPLE WEEKS AGO AND REIMAGINED PREP, WHICH IS OPENED LONGEST, IS RATEDAV AND IS THE HIGHEST RATED OPEN ENROLLMENT MIDDLE SCHOOL IN THE JACKSON PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT . MIDTOWN HAS MOVED UP TO A.D. WRITING AND SMILE OF PREP IS A C. WE SAW TREMENDOUS GROWTH THIS YEAR. WE ARE STARTING TO REALLY SEE THE ACADEMIC PROGRESS THAT WE WERE HOPING FOR AND WE HAVE LONG SEEN PARENTS ARE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT A. OF A CHARTER SCHOOL IN THE STATE AS A READING LIST, THE RETENTION RATES ARE HIGH, PARENTS LOVE THE ADDITIONAL OPTION. THE BEAUTY OF CHARTERS IS NOBODY IS ASSIGNED TO A CHARTER. PARENTS GET THE FREEDOM TO SHOP AROUND AND SAY DO I WANT MY NEIGHBOR DISTRICT SCHOOL OR DO I WANT TO TRY CHARTER SCHOOL. THERE’S NO TUITION, BUT THEY ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO THE SAME ACADEMIC STANDARD AS TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS. WEGET TO COMPARE APPLES TO APPLES AND SEE HOW THEY ARE DOING .>>HE PAINT A PRETTY ROSY PICTURE OF THE SCHOOLS, BUT DO YOU THINK MISSISSIPPIANS WOULD BE BETTER SERVED IF RESOURCES WERE SPENT ON TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS WHERE MOST STUDENTS ARE ATTENDING CLASS ALREADY?>>CERTAINLY. LET ME SAY THIS, WE WANT EVERY SCHOOL TO EDUCATE A CHILD TO DO WELL. IF CHILDREN ARE BEING EDUCATED WE WANT THAT SCHOOL TO DO WELL. AND WE DID NOT OPPOSE THE CHARTER.UT WE FOCUSED ON WAS USING THE CHARTER SCHOOL AND ALL THE THINGS THAT GRAHAM POINTED TO OUR CHARTER SCHOOL SYSTEM HERE MISSISSIPPI BETTER THAN MANY OF THOSE YOU HEAR ABOUT ACROSS THE NATION WERE THINGS WE INSISTED BE IN THE LEGISLATION. AND SO WE HAD BEEN PLEASED THAT AUTHORIZER BOARD HAS OF THE BAR PRETTY HIGH. IT’S HARD TO OPEN A CHARTER SCHOOL IN MISSISSIPPI. IT’S RATHER INEFFICIENT TO JUST START ADDING SCHOOLS WILLY-NILLY ACROSS THE STATE. IF WE CAN ADD SCHOOLS, WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO ENSURE THEY WILL BE HIGH-QUALITY SCHOOLS. BUT AGAIN, I AGREE THAT WE NEED TO BE SPENDING MORE RESOURCES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS GENERALLY YOUR CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE FUNDED THE SAME WAY TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE FUNDED.F WE INCREASE FUNDING , WE WOULD ALSO INCREASE FUNDING TO THE CHARTERS IS GOING GREAT, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TATE REEVES, THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE FOR GOVERNOR RELEASED AN EDUCATION PLAN. ONE OF ITS KEY POINTS TO ADDRESS MISSISSIPPI’S CRITICAL TEACHER SHORTAGE IS TO IMPLEMENT A $10,000 BONUS FOR NEW TEACHERS WHO OFFED TO TEACH IN SUBJECTS LIKE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH, STEM SUBJECTS. IF THEY TEACH IN GEOGRAPHIC AREAS LIKE THE DELTA AND PROPOSE AN INCREASE IN THE BONUS THE TEACHERS RECEIVE THE BECOME BOARD-CERTIFIED. FROM SUCCESSES AND THOUSAND. WHAT YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE ABOUT THAT?>I WILL GIVE A DISCLAIMER FIRST. BECAUSE MY ORGANIZATION HAS WRITTEN REPORTABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TATE REEVES BECAUSE WE DO LIKE HIS PLAN FOR EDUCATION. AND WE HAVE LIKED THE WORK HE HAS DONE IS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. BUT HIS PLAN IS A GOOD ONE. HE SUPPORTS MAKING SURE MORE MONEY GETS TO THE CLASSROOM. AND MORE IS FOCUSED ON TEACHERS AND INCENTIVES FOR THOSE TEACHING IN HIGH NEEDS AREAS, AS HE TALKED ABOUT. THINK IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE AND I THINK HAVE HEARD A LOT OF GREAT FEEDBACK FROM TEACHERS THAT THEY REALLY LIKE IT. WHAT I ALSO THINK IS NECESSARY, AND I THINK THIS IS ANOTHER PIECE OF THE PLAN I’M PROUD OF. HE IS PUTTING TOGETHER A TEACHER ADVISORY PANEL BECAUSE WHAT WE HAVE HEARD FROM TEACHERS IS YES, THEY WANT TO BE PAID WHAT THEY ARE WORTH AND THEY ARE NOT CURRENTLY. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN THAT, TEACHERS WANT TO TEACH. AND MANY TEACHERS ARE FRUSTRATED BECAUSE THEY FEEL LIKE ALL THEY DO IS PREPARE STUDENTS TO TAKE TESTS AND THEY TEACH TO THE TEST AND THEY HAVE VERY LITTLE FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY AND THE ABILITY TO BE CREATIVE ABOUT THE WAY THEY STRUCTURE THEIR DAY ON THE WAY THEY TEACH THEIR CURRICULUM . AND TEACHERS ARE FRUSTRATED ABOUT THAT. IF WE WANT TO TREAT TEACHERS LIKE THE PROFESSIONALS THEY ARE, WE HAVE GOT TO GIVE THEM MORE FREEDOM. THE TWO PEOPLE THAT HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON A STUDENT’S SUCCESS IN EDUCATION IS THEIR PARENTS AND THEIR TEACHER. AND OFTEN IT FEELS LIKE THOSE TWO RULES HAVE THE LEAST pCONTROL ON THE LEAST FLEXIBILITY AND GET WE GIVE THEM THE LEAST INFLUENCE OVER SHAPING A CHILD’S EDUCATION. I THINK TEACHERS OUGHT TO HAVE A LOT OF CONTROL.>>Wilson Stribling: DO YOU THINK THOSE ISSUES YOU POINT OUT, DO THEY HELP LEAD TO A TEACHER SHORTAGE, ARE THEY PART OF PROBLEM?>>ABSOLUTELY. I THINK WE HEARD OVER AND OVER EVERY YEAR TEACHERS HAVE TO DO SOUL-SEARCHING ABOUT WHETHER THEY ARE GOING TO COME BACK THE NEXT YEAR. A LOT OF IT IS THEY DON’T FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE THE FREEDOM FLEXIBILITY, CREATIVITY AND THEY ARE TREATED LIKE THE PROFESSIONALS THEY ARE. AND HAS RUN A LOT OUR BEST TEACHERS OUT. FRANKLY, SOME OF OUR BEST TEACHERS HAVE LEFT TO GO TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS WHERE THEY MAKE LESS MONEY BUT THEY HAVE MORE FREEDOM TO TEACH. IF THEY ARE IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND KIDS ARE GETTING A GREAT EDUCATION, THAT’S GREAT. BUT LET’S NOT RUN THEM OFF. LET’S GIVE THEM SOME OF THE SIMPLEX ABILITY.>>Wilson Stribling: NANCY, DO YOU THINK THE TEACHER SHORTAGE IS MORE THAN ABOUT MONEY IN PARIS?>>AM SURE IT IS. THERE HAS BEEN A GENERAL HOSTILITY TOWARD TEACHERS FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS THAT HAS BEEN REALLY DISCOURAGING FOR THEM. YOU KNOW, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF NONSENSE ABOUT TRYING TO SILENCE TEACHERS AND MAKE THEM BELIEVE THEY CAN ADVOCATE FOR THEIR STUDENTS AND THAT SORT OF THING, WHICH OF COURSE WOULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND TEACHERS HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO ADVOCATE FOR THEIR STUDENTS. THEY ARE NOT PREVENTED FROM DOING THAT. BUT IT’S BEEN VERY UNFORTUNATE UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION HEAR THEIR HAS BEEN THIS INCREASED LEVEL HOSTILITY TOWARD EDUCATION GENERALLY. AND WE SAW SOME OF THAT IN THE LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION WHEN THERE WASN’T THIS $4000 PAY RAISE THAT WAS PROPOSED AND IT WAS DEFEATED IN THE SENATE. IT’S INTERESTING. AS OPPOSED GOOD TO HEAR THAT TATE REEVES IS NOW PROPOSING A $4000 PAY RAISE HE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN KILLING THE $4000 PAY RAISE PROPOSED IN THIS LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION .>>TO MY FOLLOW-UP?E HAS SAID THROUGHOUT HIS TENURE PARIS AND PEOPLE WILL SET ON THE AISLE HAVE SEEN HIM AND RECOGNIZED HIM FOR BEING FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE BUT LET’S NOT MAKE PROMISES WE CAN’T KEEP. I APPRECIATE WHEN ASKED WHY NOW HE SAID WE DID DO A TEACHER PAY RAISE AND WE HAD DONE TO UNDER HIS TENURE AS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, BUT WE CAN’T MAKE PROMISES WE CAN’T KEEP. REVENUES ARE UP DRAMATICALLY THIS YEAR OVER LAST YEAR AND HE LOOKED AT THE NUMBERS AND WAITED AS LATE AS POSSIBLE TO MAKE SURE THE REVENUE WAS COMING IN THIS ABSOLUTELY. LET’S DO IT. WE CAN AFFORD IT LET’S PUT IT FRONT AND CENTER.>>ALL THEINDICATIONS WERE DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION THAT WE ARE AND HAVE THE LEVEL OF REVENUE . IN FACT, WE COMMUNICATED LETTING THEM KNOW THE REVENUE WAS ABSOLUTELY THERE. BUT WHAT WE SEE HAPPENING YEAR AFTER YEAR WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION THEY HAVE INTENTIONALLY UNDER ESTIMATED THE REVENUE TO KEEP APPROPRIATIONS LOW.AND AND SOFT ALL THE EXTRA MONEY AT THE END OF THE YEAR WHEN SURPRISE, THE REVENUE IS EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS. YOU PUT IT IN THE RAINY DAY FUND, WE PUT AT OUR BUDGET CONTINGENCY FUNDS AND ALL THE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. BUT WHEN WE DO THAT, WE ARE NOT DOING IS PROVIDING THE SERVICES THAT THE TAXPAYERS WANT. AND THAT IS RACES FOR OUR TEACHERS, HIGH-QUALITY SPENDING ON PUBLIC EDUCATION, ROADS AND BRIDGES. ALL IS QUALITY OF LIFE THINGS THAT WE PAY TAXES FOR BUT WE ARE NOT GETTING BECAUSE LEADERSHIP REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE ALL THE REVENUE COMING IN.>>Wilson Stribling: WE JUST HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME LEFT, BUT JIM HOOD, PART OF HIS EDUCATION PLAN WOULD BE TOO IMPLEMENT PRE-K STATEWIDE. HE SAID IT WOULD COST $30 MILLION AND HE WOULD FULLY FUND MHP THAT WOULD COST ABOUT TWO TO $5 BILLION ACCORDING TO THE DEPARTMENT EDUCATION. DO YOU LIKE THAT AND DO YOU THINK THAT IS REALISTIC?>>ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THAT THE PEOPLE OF MISSISSIPPI ARE WILLING TO DO WHATEVER THEY NEED TO DO TO MAKE SURE OUR CHILDREN GET A HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION. THEY HAVE SAID THAT TIME AND AGAIN. I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF FUNDING TO BE FOUND THAT EXISTS IN OVERTIME THOSE REVENUES WILL CONTINUE TO COME IN. BUT THERE IS NO BETTER INVESTMENT THAT WE CAN MAKE THAN TO FUND PRE-K IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.>>Wilson Stribling: WE ARE OUT OF TIME.HANK YOU BOTH FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US ON @ ISSUE. COMING UP NEXT WEEK, PART TWO OF OUR SPECIAL THREE-PART SERIES ON @ISSUE. WILL HEAR FROM REPUBLICAN SECRETARY OF STATE DELBERT HOSEMANN, AND DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE JAY HUGHES ABOUT THEIR PLANS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION. WE THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON @ISSUE. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

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