WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – Local school superintendents met in West Point to discuss the future of public education in Mississippi. The goal was to communicate to the state’s legislators what they’ll need to ensure each child in Mississippi receives a good education.
“This is the most dangerous legislative session for public education in the past 50 years. Public education is under attack, people need to wake up and realize that,” says District 7 Democratic State Senator Hob Bryan.
Bryan was one of only three state lawmakers to attend the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents 2012 Legislative Meeting.
“There are those who are going to attempt to rewrite the law to produce lower funding for the public schools. We’re already the lowest funded schools in the nation and yet there’s going to be an attempt to reduce funding for public education,” says Bryan.
Sam Bounds, executive director of the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, says public schools in Mississippi are improving and now is the time to show support.
“Our public education is not broken. It may need to be tweaked, but we don’t need to totally dismantle public education. Achievement-wise we’re improving. We really, really are. You can look at the data. Are we satisfied? No, but we need to be happy that we are showing steady improvement,” Bounds told the group, citing charter school and other proposals as some of the efforts that could be counter productive unless handled carefully.
During the meeting, superintendents discussed the three main goals for the Mississippi Board of Education: to ensure all students exit third grade on reading level by 2020, reduce the dropout rate to 13 percent and to reach the national average on assessments by next year.
Bounds says Mississippi’s future depends on it.
“We need to be passionate about public education because I truly believe that the future of our state is public education,” says Bounds.
Other topics included increasing teacher salaries and fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
The Association of School Superintendents will hold several more legislative meetings throughout the state.