The Mississippi legislature returned to Jackson last week to begin the 2018 legislative session.
The 90-day session is based on a series of deadlines, with the first deadline- the deadline for making requests for general bills and constitutional amendments to be drafted- hitting this Wednesday. All bills will then need to be introduced by next Monday. Hundreds of bills have already been introduced. But that is just the start.
Empower Mississippi has two key priorities for the 2018 session:
- ESA expansion: This year, the legislature will have the opportunity to expand the education scholarship account program to all public school students. First passed in 2015, the Special Needs ESA has been a life-changing program for hundreds of Mississippi families. In fact, a report we released last year found that 98 percent of families in the program are happy with their new educational setting, compared to just 24 percent who were satisfied with their prior school. We believe now is the right time to expand the program and provide Mississippi families with more opportunities in the education of their children. We know Mississippians support the expansion, but your legislators need to hear from you.
CLICK HERE to e-mail your legislator
CLICK HERE to look up your legislator and then CALL your legislator at 601-359-3770
- Student-centered education funding formula: Last year, the legislature hired EdBuild to study the state’s education funding formula and they made a number of recommendations to update and modernize the formula. A review of those recommendations, which focused on moving to a weighted formula for specific student characteristics beyond the base that every student receives, can be found here. While legislation has yet to be introduced, we support a revamp of the formula if it is student-centered, equitable, and transparent.
The session has just begun with most action occurring behind the scenes at this point. We know a lot will happen over the next three months, and we will be here to keep you informed of the latest movements. In the meantime, make sure your legislators are hearing from you!