Education issues still a focus for 2014

The 2013 session was labeled as the education session by Gov. Phil Bryant and legislative leaders, but the 2014 session also is shaping up as a key one for education as well.

House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, surprised everyone recently by saying he would like to try to provide a teacher pay raise in the upcoming session, which begins Jan. 7.

New state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright has said that the state needs to strive to provide additional funds to kindergarten through 12th grade education, plus increase the money going for pre-kindergarten programs, if Mississippi schools are going to improve.

Wright said convincing legislators of the importance of providing additional funds for pre-K and fully funding the existing K-12 program “is part of my task. I am trying to reach out and communicate with folks in the Legislature.”

Both the governor and legislative leaders propose to keep K-12 education funding essentially the same as this year in their budget proposals, though the governor does have modest increases in some areas.

Daily Journal