On Friday, the state legislature voted to increase funding for Education Scholarship Accounts from $3 million to $5 million, creating around 300 new scholarships to meet the needs of hundreds on the waitlist. It was an exciting day for educational opportunity in Mississippi! While the vote was contentious, taking place during the last hours of the session, Lt. Gov. Reeves summed up his leadership on the issue by saying “I got elected to do what was right.”
We applaud Lt. Gov. Reeves and other legislative advocates for giving more families the ability to direct their tax dollars to an education that allows their children with special needs to thrive. Although a December 2018 review of the program showed 91% satisfaction by parents of ESA students, House Education Chairman Richard Bennett had publicly refused to address the waitlist this year, so many #Waitlisted families met last week’s vote with a big sigh of relief.
In other education news, Mississippi teachers will receive a $1,500 pay raise this year, welcome news to many though the amount has drawn some criticism. With that, the shortest legislative session on record has drawn to a close – thank you for your advocacy and partnership along the way! Your engagement made a difference, and more Mississippians have the freedom to pursue the best education they can find as a result.