During the 2020 session of the Mississippi Legislature, lawmakers gave final approval to many student-centered policies:
- College Credit Incentive Funding: The education budget includes $1 million in incentive funding for schools and teachers whose students successfully complete Advanced Placement (AP) and other college-level courses. These are proven pathways that prepare students for college-level work while they earn valuable college credit or work toward a postsecondary credential. Lawmakers increased this funding despite uncertain times, knowing that it is an investment that will benefit the state for years to come.
- Early Literacy: The budget also raises the per-pupil funding rate for Early Learning Collaboratives from $2,150 to $2,500 so teachers will have more resources to better prepare Mississippi’s youngest learners for success in school. This program is considered a national model with high quality benchmarks and proven learning gains for preschool students.
- Private School Choice: Senate Bill 2594 extends the Education Scholarship Accounts Program for the 500 participating students with special needs for another four years and increases academic accountability of the program.
“At a time when many states have seen stagnant student learning gains, the Magnolia State continues to make national headlines for its extraordinary academic improvements in K-12 education. During this legislative session, when many difficult budget decisions had to be made, Mississippi lawmakers continue to prioritize policies that improve learning opportunities for all students from pre-K through graduation.
“Mississippi is also one of only a handful of states that allows parents of students with special needs to customize an education to meet their needs through an Education Scholarship Account. While there is still more work to be done to improve the program, it was critical to ensure that the 500 participating students can stay in a learning environment that is working for them.
“ExcelinEd in Action thanks the many leaders and partners who have worked diligently on behalf of Mississippi’s students, including Governor Tate Reeves, Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann, State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, Speaker Philip Gunn, Senate Education Chair Dennis DeBar, House Education Chair Richard Bennett, Senator Brice Wiggins, College Board and Mississippi First.”
Tom Greene, ExcelinEd in Action National Legislative Director
For more information on the power of transformational education policies, visit ExcelinEd’s policy library.