Lt. Gov. Provides Optional Pre-K-12 Assignments to Students, Teachers

Jackson, Miss. — Teachers can opt to include a new project in enrichment packets sent home with students this week: assignments challenging students to think about how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting their communities and share ideas about how lawmakers could address it. Working with administrators and teachers across the State, Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and staff developed three grade-appropriate assignments including: • A Think, Draw, Write! activity challenging pre-K through 3rd Grade students to imagine they are visiting the Mississippi Capitol and share ideas on how to keep families healthy with their lawmaker; • Writing prompts for 4th through 6th Grade students to explain how they are staying connected to their teachers and school, and/or describe a goal they [...]

Importance of Census Cannot Be Understated, Hosemann Says

Tunica, Miss. (Mississippi Today) - Mississippi students soared on kindergarten readiness exams, third-grade reading “gate” tests, graduation rates and reading and math assessments, outperforming the nation. Carey Wright, state Superintendent of Education, said at a Mississippi Delta high school last week that the state could do even more with additional dollars from the federal government. Wright spoke to a group of middle and high school students in the Rosa Fort High School gymnasium — filled with colorful posters and handmade signs — to highlight the 2020 census count and its importance to youth and rural communities across the state, communities deemed “hard to count” populations, or areas likely to not have an accurate count. Other at-risk populations include low-income and [...]

Bills Addressing Teacher Shortage, Supporting Law Enforcement Pass Senate

Brookhaven, Miss. (Daily Leader) - Several bills either authored or amended by Sen. Sally Doty, R-Brookhaven, passed the Mississippi Senate Tuesday and will now go to the House for consideration. SB 2511, authored by Education Chairman Dennis Debar Jr., addressed the critical teacher shortage in Mississippi by revising requirements for entrance into teacher education programs. Doty amended the bill on the floor to include specific language for licensure of teachers at the Mississippi School of the Arts who have advanced degrees in artistic disciplines. “With MSA’s specialized classes in the arts, their teachers have had numerous issues getting through the licensure process, even though they are overly qualified,” Doty said. “I appreciate Chairman Debar supporting my amendment." Doty authored SB 2523, [...]

COLUMN: Flood spotlights need for strategic policy thinking

Meridian, Miss. (Meridian Star) - Politicians tend to be adept at tactical political thinking. How do I win the next election? How do I get this project my financial backers want approved? How do I keep special interest groups on my side? And so on. Strategic policy thinking to solve systemic and long-term problems, well that’s another story. Effective government, however, cannot be singularly driven by tactical political thinking. Strategic policy thinking has a critical role. As state and local officials assess the decimating impact of the 2020 Pearl River flood, flood control is an appropriate example of the need for strategic policy thinking. Flood control and prevention seldom occupy public officials’ minds…until a flood happens. Of course, then, all [...]

State legislators celebrate Natchez Day Wednesday

Natchez, Miss. (Natchez Democrat) - Local officials gathered at the capitol building in Jackson on Wednesday and presented the city needs to state legislators over tables filled with Fat Mama’s Tamales and Darby’s fudge. Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said Natchez Inc., in conjunction with other economic development partners, was able to map out strategies to meet legislative priorities for this session during “Natchez Day at the Capitol.” The priorities Russ listed included creating a 1% food and beverage tax countywide to pay down the debt for various economic development projects, funding renovations for Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center and allowing the City of Natchez to increase the amount of money allocated to Natchez Inc. to assist downtown development [...]

Hosemann’s 16th Section Lawsuit Clears First Hurdle

Natchez, Miss. (Natchez Democrat) — Motions to dismiss a lawsuit that could bring millions of dollars to the Natchez-Adams School District and other area school districts failed in federal court Thursday. Federal Judge Elaine Kaplan denied the federal government’s efforts to dismiss a lawsuit filed in February 2019 by then Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann on behalf of students in school districts in Southwest Mississippi. Hosemann was elected Mississippi Lt. Governor in November 2019. The lawsuit filed in the United States Court of Federal Claims, contends that the federal government unconstitutionally took 8,000 acres of public school lands. The state seeks at least $25 million in damages from the federal government under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment Takings clause which [...]