WJTV – Secretary of State survey indicates businesses want a more educated workforce

#MSelex: Hughes makes it official in run for Lt. Governor

WTOK – Mississippi receiving federal grant for preschool programs

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says the state is receiving a $10.6 million federal grant for preschool programs.

Bryant announced the grant Wednesday on Twitter. He says it will expand a system developed by his State Early Childhood Advisory Council and the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

The governor says the money will help “maximize parental choice and engagement” with a goal of ensuring children have a smooth transition from child care centers, including Head Start, into public schools.

Congressman Thompson jabs at John Kelly on way out the door

Sen. Wicker: Former Pike County Sheriff appointed US Marshall for Southern District

Gov. Bryant appoints Henry to Workers’ Compensation Commission

CLARION LEDGER – Legislative session 2019: Will a teacher pay raise really happen this year?

Republicans Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn have signaled their support for increasing teacher pay. Both have also held off on unveiling specifics.

Still at play, Gunn cautioned, is how much revenue the state will collect before budget work begins in March.

“Three years ago, the House led on a teacher pay raise. So, we clearly support our teachers,” he said, speaking to a group of reporters in December. “Anything we do in that arena is going to be a function of dollars and whether or not revenues exist.”



Back in 2014, lawmakers pushed through a $2,500 pay raise for teachers that was phased in over two years. The average Mississippi teacher now makes $44,659, according to the state Department of Education.

Gov. Phil Bryant wants to see lawmakers dedicate an additional $50 million to salary increases over the next two years.

#MSelex: Foster outlines platform in run for Governor

Bryant “disappointed” in Romney following Trump op-ed

MBJ – Bill Crawford: 2019 will be a big year for Mississippi politics

All this supports rumors that Bryant and Reeves have mended fences in order to hold off a Democrat surge in November.

In another December jockeying maneuver, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn told reporters that lawmakers will abandon attempts to rewrite the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding formula in the upcoming session. Changing the formula has been a major Republican goal since the defeat of the school funding referendum in 2015. Taking it off the table will tamp down an inflammatory issue for pro-school advocates and teachers, e.g., likely Hood supporters.

Intriguingly, Reeves, so far, has been quiet on Republican jockeying. No doubt because changing course on Medicaid and school funding won’t play well with part of his base.

Yes, 2019 will be a big year for Mississippi politics.