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News & Press: General News

State Board of Education Meets

Friday, September 25, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kelly Riley
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The State Board of Education met yesterday, September 24, 2020.  Board actions and discussions included the following:

 

  • Received the State Superintendent’s monthly report during which Dr. Wright shared that she has been very clear as to the need to administer assessments this year.  Stating that it is not realistic to not administer assessments for two years, Dr. Wright said there is a lot on the line, especially given the national recognition Mississippi has garnered for recent educational gains.  She reported that MDE is in talks with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) as to how assessments and accountability could be “decoupled,” especially given ongoing concerns that the COVID-19 situation will worsen with flu season.  She will keep the State Board apprised of discussions and developments. 
  • Received an update from John Kraman, MDE’s Chief Information Officer, on the implementation of SB 3044, HB 1788, and the distance learning plan.  He reported that 390,000 devices will be delivered to students and teachers throughout the state.  While 90% of the Chrome Books are on the ground in the United States, there is more work to do in procuring the Windows laptops, MacBooks, and iPads.  Chrome Book delivery to districts will start next week.  The next phase of the project - financial reimbursement to districts – begins October 1. 
  • Voted to waive the ACT sub-score enrollment requirements for current seniors this school year for Essentials for College Math and Essentials for College Literacy courses.  The sub-score requirements were waived due to testing site closures this past spring and summer.
  • Awarded competitive grants totaling $18.1 million across four years for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program to 10 school districts and 5 non-profit agencies or community-based organizations.  Click here for details regarding the awarding of these grants.
  • Awarded competitive grants totaling slightly more than $1 million for the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program to 7 districts (Alcorn County, Corinth, George County, Jackson Public, Mississippi Achievement School District-Humphreys, Starkville-Oktibbeha, and Tupelo)
  • Approved the distribution of $50 million from House Bill 1788, the Mississippi Pandemic Response Broadband Availability Act, to the Choctaw Tribal Schools, 95 independent schools, 7 charter schools, and 143 school districts and special state schools.  These funds are designed to expand broadband access in unserved areas of our state.  Click here for details regarding the allocation of these funds. 
  • Recognized Sean Suggs for his service on the Board, as he is being transferred to another state with his job and this was his last meeting.  His resignation will leave six vacancies on the nine-member State Board, which could pose a challenge in having a quorum at future meetings. The six vacancies include four appointments (teacher, administrator, Southern Supreme Court District, Central Supreme Court District) to be made by Governor Reeves, although John Kelly, whose term expired in July, is continuing to serve in the Southern Supreme Court District position until another appointment is made. The remaining two vacancies include one at-large appointment each by Speaker Gunn and Lt. Governor Hosemann.  Speaker Gunn will appoint someone to fill Suggs’s vacancy.  Lt. Governor Hosemann cannot make his appointment until the legislature officially adjourns Sine Die in October, as even though the Senate did not confirm her earlier this year, Nancy Collins has chosen to serve until her nomination by then Lt. Governor Reeves expires upon Sine Die.