Mississippi is being recognized for improvements in reading scores for fourth graders. Governor Phil Bryant made the announcement via Twitter Thursday night.
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is recognizing Mississippi as a State Pacesetter for efforts to improve early literacy. Mississippi is one of only 13 states to show a significant increase in the scores and overall reading proficiency.
Thanks to Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison , Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Speaker Philip Gunn, House leadership, teachers, parents, administrators and all those who have joined with us to ensure our students are fully equipped for a lifetime of success. #MississippiProud pic.twitter.com/LplM03YYy8
— Phil Bryant (@PhilBryantMS) February 16, 2018
The “back shop,” or administrative functions, for about 20 small state agencies will be centralized under legislation that passed the Senate and is pending in the House.
The legislation, authored by Senate Appropriations Chairman Buck Clarke, R-Hollandale, would create the Office of Shared Services within the Department of Finance and Adminstration to handle such issues as payrolls, accountancy services and technology services.
It is estimated that the sharing of the services could save the state $600,000 or more per year.
Three Senate bills would increase the cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack. Advocates hope that, if passed and signed into law, the tax increase would decrease smoking…
…Senator Willie Simmons, a former smoker, authored one of the bills to increase the tax.
Senator Simmons says, “We have to get into that population and reduce their desire to smoke similar to what happened to me in my personal life when my son approached me and said my smoking was killing him and his siblings. That got my attention.”
A bill in the House of Representatives would raise taxes by $1.00.
State officials said Thursday that a record 83 percent of Mississippi seniors graduated on time from high school in 2016-2017, even as some lawmakers demand an end to subject tests that affect whether students can graduate…
…“Are we where we want to be nationally? No,” said Wright. “Are the trend lines headed in the right direction? Absolutely.”
The nationwide graduation rate is 84 percent, according to the most recent data.
Mississippi education officials say they expect to approve plans next month to fix state accreditation violations in Jackson and two other school districts.
Chief Accountability Officer Paula Vanderford said Thursday that the Mississippi Department of Education will work with leaders in the three districts to fix problems in their corrective action plans.
The other districts whose plans weren’t approved are Hazlehurst and Natchez-Adams.
Vanderford predicts all three revised plans will be approved in March.
State Sen. Wiggins comments on gang bill opponents
The chairman of the U-S Congressional Black Caucus will be in Jackson February 24 to celebrate the new Civil Rights Museum, according to Carlos Moore, co-organizer of the Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights Grand Celebration and Gala.
Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, will join other African American lawmakers, including civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, for the gala, organized in protest of President Trump’s invitation to the December 9 museum grand opening.
Sen. Wicker accepts “True Blue” award for 100% pro-family, pro-life record
Today, I was honored to accept the @FRCAction “True Blue” Award in recognition of my 100% pro-life, pro-family voting record. I will continue working to advance these principles and to support legislation that puts families first. https://t.co/avQbZMUoTR pic.twitter.com/ppgnWZoKJl
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) February 15, 2018
Lawmakers recently passed the defense budget, which calls for a nearly $300 billion increase in spending over the next two years. The defense spending package calls for $700 billion for fiscal year 2018 and increases that amount to $716 billion for fiscal year 2019 to finance the day-to-day operations of the Pentagon.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced legislation that funds expanding the navy fleet to 355 ships, from the current 270, over the next decade.
Wicker tells OneNewsNow the U.S. never needs to find itself in a situation like the 1930s and early 1940s, when it was totally unprepared to face the Axis Powers in World War II.