SuperTalk Mississippi

Student representatives may join Board of Ed

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The Mississippi State Board of Education, SBE, is considering appointing student representatives to the board starting during the 2019-20 school year. The board said the student representatives would be non-voting members but would provide input on policy decisions that affect Mississippi public schools.

“Students have an important perspective to offer, and their participation on the State Board will add tremendous value to our discussions and deliberations,” said Dr. Jason Dean, SBE chair. “I expect Board members and students will learn a great deal from each other.”

SBE member Dr. John Kelly proposed the idea of adding student advisors to the board in May after reporting that approximately 15 state boards of education have successfully implemented student advisory programs.

The SBE’s proposal calls for inviting applications from public school students who will be high school juniors or seniors in 2019-20. Through a competitive process, the State Board will appoint one rising junior and one rising senior to serve as student representatives consecutively in the initial year of program implementation. After the senior graduates, the junior representative will promote to the senior representative position. A new junior representative will be appointed annually.

Student representatives will be responsible for attending SBE meetings and any standing committees or subcommittees to which he or she is assigned. Student representatives will be excused from school to attend SBE meetings as official school business.

If the proposal goes forward, student applications would be released in December with a February deadline to apply. Student representatives would be named in June 2019.

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