SuperTalk Mississippi
Featured News Latest News Politics Trending News

Gov. Reeves calls for 11 more magnet schools to be created; House speaker agrees

Gov. Tate Reeves cited the Mississippi School for Math and Science as a prime example as to why more magnet schools need to be created (Photo courtesy of MSMS)

During his State of the State address earlier this week, Gov. Tate Reeves called for the expansion of an education model he believes would greatly benefit both students and the future of Mississippi’s workforce.

Citing success of the Mississippi School for Math and Science located on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women, the Republican governor proposed for 11 additional math and engineering magnet schools to be implemented across the state. He added that eight of the schools could exist to educate kindergarten through eighth grade students. The other three could be for high schoolers.

The idea, which comes as lawmakers debate how to properly fund K-12 public schools, is to not only have students ready to compete in the labor field upon graduation but also to provide an avenue for pupils in failing school districts to have opportunities elsewhere.

“We must be innovative. We must be open to new and different models. We should fund students, not systems. We should trust our parents, not bureaucrats, and we should embrace education freedom,” Reeves said. “Imagine hundreds of talented kids from all backgrounds learning the skills they need to be successful as engineers, computer scientists, and technicians at major tech companies.”

Following the State of the State, House Speaker Jason White said the proposal from Reeves coincides with legislation introduced by Rep. Rob Roberson, chair of the education committee. The first-year speaker vouches that adding magnet schools to existing college campuses could be beneficial to both parties amid a fear of future enrollment drops on the postsecondary level.

“[Reeves] talked about creating some magnet schools, which dovetails very well with our chairman of education’s bill wanting to create one at Delta State University on the campus to give folks a chance, in failing school districts, to just go to that campus instead,” White said. “We can do that just as the governor wants to do it. We’re excited to get with his people and figure out exactly what they envision.”

Under House Bill 1447, the state would create a rural education school program in partnership with Delta State to serve K-12 students who are currently enrolled in failing school districts. The legislation partially stemmed, according to White, from a controversial bill introduced by Sen. John Polk to close three of the state’s higher education institutions by 2028 – legislation highly unlikely to pass but places an onus on leaders to work toward solving declining enrollment at the majority of Mississippi’s colleges and universities.

The Republican speaker claims that having magnet schools on college campuses could incentivize pupils with first-hand experience through a magnet school program to pursue a degree there at the university, providing a boost to enrollment numbers.

“This would give universities another arm, another mission there. So, it could work,” White said.

Keeping both education and workforce development in mind, Reeves would also like to see an opportunity for high school seniors to receive academic credits while gaining hands-on experience through an apprenticeship program. Such an idea would need legislative approval as well.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More