This week at the Capitol is “Celebration of Public Schools Week.” Sen. Sollie Norwood was joined by representatives from the Mississippi Association of Educators, American Federation of Teachers, Mississippi NAACP and graduates of public schools to encourage lawmakers to continue investing in the state’s public-school system.

Norwood said legislators are looking at some options concerning teacher certification and what can be adjusted to fix the current teacher shortage the state faces.

“We are looking to change the qualifications to become a teacher and I think once we get that in place we are talking about four or five hundred teachers that will become eligible immediately,” said Norwood. He said this will be helpful, instead of using the method to recruit as you go.

Norwood said the 2020 Legislative Session has been positive in terms of public education. He hopes going forward lawmakers will consider legislation that would hold parents accountable.

“We need to hold parents accountable. We need to put something in place to make parents better informed. The better informed and accountable the parents are, the better the districts are going to be,” said Norwood. He believes it takes a village but wants to ensure parents are engaged enough that they are helping their children.

He added that public schools need continued resources to provide for their children. He disagrees with parents and students being thrown around from place to place with things like school choice, ultimately missing out on educational experiences.

View the full press conference below: