Bigger Pie Forum believes a well-trained and educated work force is critical to the success of any community. BPF's agenda to ensure that all students receive a quality education is centered on four tenets: teachers matter; curriculum counts; choice and competition work; and accountability and innovation are essential.
Do we spend enough on K-12 education in Mississippi? First, we need to clear up how much state and federal taxpayers spend in total on public schools.
Until performance improves, Mississippi will lag behind other states in economic growth as the workers of tomorrow aren’t adequately prepared for the jobs of the future, especially in the STEM field. An educated workforce is key to luring new industry and convincing entrepreneurs that Mississippi is the best place to start a thriving business.
Public education advocates have always wanted more K-12 education spending, but more spending hasn’t paid off. Mississippi ACT composite scores since 2013 have either declined or remained constant, down from a high of 19 in 2015. Mississippi policymakers need to see this as a call to action to improve the results of K-12 education. If the state’s education system can’t create an educated workforce able to thrive in the economy of tomorrow, we’ll continue to fall behind other states.
Nearly one quarter of Mississippi students attending public school do so at schools rated as failing by the Mississippi Department of Education. Out of 477,633 students in public school, 117,368 of them are at a school that received a D or an F from the MDE’s annual accountability scores.
Jackson voters will take to the polls on August 7 to decide whether to pass a $65 million bond issue to repair discrepancies uncovered during the Mississippi Department of Education’s audit. Has the JPS Board been a good steward of taxpayer money?
Are there expansion opportunities for JROTC in Mississippi? Yes indeed, and they need to be pursued. JROTC works. It works because it brings the right capabilities and a tough love commitment to critical tasks that are vital to the long-term future of education in Mississippi.