Gov. Phil Bryant pushes for broader school choice
Friday, November 30, 2012 8:06 AM
FLOWOOD (AP) - Gov. Phil Bryant wants to push school choice even farther in Mississippi, proposing a plan that would allow donors to fund scholarships to private schools for some students and to allow students to enroll in any public school statewide that has room.
Those were among proposals the Republican is making for the 2013 Legislature. He unveiled them Friday at Northwest Rankin High School, where his children attended.
The choice plans add to Bryant's renewed proposal to expand public charter schools in Mississippi. Charter school plans faltered under House opposition last year.
Bryant also wants to block any student behind in reading from advancing to 4th grade and any student behind in math or reading from advancing to 8th grade.
He also renewed his call to pay more to high-performing teachers.
Here is a glance at the governor's proposals:
-Expand the state's charter school law.
-Allow students to transfer to any public school in the state with room to take them.
-Give $10 million in tax credits to entities who donate for private school scholarships for low income students and students in D and F-rated school districts.
-Require 3rd graders to read proficiently before moving to 4th grade
-Require 7th graders to read and do math proficiently before moving to 8th grade.
-Develop a uniform assessment to evaluate students below 3rd grade.
-Spend $15 million on reading intervention trainers.
-Require high schools with graduation rates below 80 percent to submit plans to increase graduation rates.
-Require students to have a 3.0 grade point average and a 21 on the ACT college test to enter college schools of education.
-Spend $1 million to offer education scholarships to students with high grades and ACT scores to become teachers in Mississippi.
-Increase pay for high-performing teachers above current state salary schedule.
-Spend $3 million to fund private Mississippi Building Blocks program aimed at improving preschool teaching.
-Seek to replace printed textbooks with electronic books.
Source: Gov. Phil Bryant's office