The Mississippi Association of Educators has launched a new initiative to incentivize more funding for public schools through its efforts to keep students in the state after they graduate.
Raise Mississippi, which was unveiled by the MAE on Tuesday, is a vision for strong public schools in every community across the Magnolia State to ensure that current students have adequate opportunities to become skilled members of the workforce.
A diverse group of educators, parents, pastors, and leaders of the business community joined MAE in their launching of Raise Mississippi.
According to MAE President Erica Jones, 90 percent of students in the state attend a public school. This initiative will serve to encourage lawmakers to make “smart funding” decisions that will propel Mississippi’s youth and make them competitive on a national stage academically.
Under MAE’s vision, funds would be allocated to public schools for:
- Access to school nurses, librarians, counselors, and school support staff who help every student thrive.
- Classrooms equipped with up-to-date technology, books, and learning materials that prepare them to compete in a global economy.
- Safe, clean, and modern school buildings.
- Educators who are paid a competitive, living wage in classrooms.
“We know all too well what happens when we do not invest in public education,” Jones stated. “Had we invested in our public schools with what we outlined in 2014, today we would have seen over 45,000 new jobs in Mississippi. There’s still time for us to be able to see growth. We still have the opportunity to see tremendous growth if we start making smart funding decisions now.”
Jones asserts that if the legislature starts passing laws that grant “smart funding” to Mississippi’s public schools, roughly 25,000 new jobs could be added to the state within the next decade as a result.
MAE also plans to continue advocating for lawmakers to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which has only received full funding twice since its implementation in 1997.