Thursday, February 8, 2018

Voucher bill dies in Senate

Leftenent Governor Tate Reeves issued the following statement. 


“Over the past seven years, Mississippi has made tremendous strides in providing parents a choice in their children’s education. I appreciate the parents who have shared stories about how their children are flourishing in new classroom environments because they have the ability to choose a school that best fits their needs. 

“Unfortunately, Senate Bill 2623, which expanded access to educational savings accounts to more parents and students, did not survive today’s legislative deadline because there is not enough support in the House at this time. We need to continue to educate legislators, in both chambers and in both political parties, on the success Mississippi parents have seen in the current ESA program and how school choice will have long-term benefits to our state.

“My goal is to give every child in Mississippi an opportunity for success regardless of their zip code or what their parents do for a living. Through school choice, increased investment in classrooms, and raising the achievement level of our students, we will see a stronger workforce and more economic growth in Mississippi’s future.”

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Weak showing by Tate. This bill is broadly supported by conservatives. Liberals and school administrators hate it. If Tate will not even pass conservative bills, what is he there for?

Anonymous said...

"I need some of the school teacher vote." - Tater Crisp

Anonymous said...

Was there a concurrently filed House Bill that could reach the Senate?

Anonymous said...

I love the state of Mississippi. However, at the same time this is a reminder of how far we as as a whole still have to go. Only the affluent can have school choice nevermind the lower income or the black population in such poor school districts. Shame on those for depriving an opportunity to those born in poorer zip codes with awful schools. This is nearly a civil rights issue. To deny a child the opportunity for a great education is just terrible.

Anonymous said...

This is good politics by Tate. Don't make your guys take tough votes that are unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

A voucher will not guarantee that any poor child, Black or otherwise, will be able to attend an elite private school in MS. Besides the fact that any voucher probably will not cover tuition and other expenses for the private school, most private schools wouldn't accept students with learning or behavioral challenges anyway, even if the voucher covered tuition. Elite private schools aren't elite because of superior teaching and leadership. They are elite because they are very discriminating when it comes to the students they accept. If you are a student that needs too much intervention or differentiation in order to learn the academic concepts, or need too much behavioral counseling or therapy, sayonara!!! Private schools cannot provide that type of education and make any money nor can they afford to get the reputation that there are "bad" students at their school.

If anything, the voucher program will create a cottage industry of new private schools that say they can teach poor students on the voucher fees alone. And after several hundreds of thousands or a couple of million dollars of public funds are wasted on these fly-by- night schools, they will close and those students will have to return to a public school that is even worse than it was when they left due to the lack of investment.

The School voucher scam isn't about providing better educational opportunities for all students. It’s just another instance in the long history of some white Mississippians who long to use public funds to return our schools to the Jim Crow era of segregation. Segregated schooling is not good schooling, contrary to popular Mississippi sentiment. It’s downright disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

I live in Northeast Jackson and my child attends JA with tates... I notice he has school choice. Yeah... this stinks to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

I'm honestly surprised that the libs are so opposed to vouchers. What better way for the God-haters on the left to get the Almighty out of the schools they don't control?

Here's how it will work:
- Vouchers pass.
- People start to use government vouchers.
- Private and parochial schools adjust by increasing tuition.
- After a few years, when the schools are dependent upon the supplement, the ACLU sues.
- Obama appointees rule that unless a school removes Christianity from the school, it will not receive government vouchers.
- Schools face massive cuts or a huge tuition increase. They either capitulate or go under.
- Liberals dance around the bonfire with goat's heads, claiming another victory against Christianity.

The same playbook could be used to force teachers unions or to regulate the cafeteria menu or to require gay sex education. Once the schools get hooked on vouchers, the left can turn them into the shitshow that is the public school system in America - dedicated to churning out uneducated Democrat voters.

Why do the libs hate vouchers again?

Anonymous said...

@4:14 You know if the legislature would give the schools the funding they deserve the districts wouldn't be so poor. And if those schools would, in turn spend it on what is needed. It's a legislative issue, not a civil rights issue. We were fortunate when the kids were little to move to the burbs to a better school district. Now that the kids are out of school I've looked at moving to the city but it's actually cheaper for me to stay in the burbs. The voucher bill would just make it worse for those kids that stayed.

Anonymous said...

@4:14, why don't those poor school districts that spend more money per student than Rankin, Madison, and Desoto counties demand some accountability? Damn taking responsibility for your own actions.

Anonymous said...

Let's see - people who claim to hate Tate because he runs the Senate with too strong an arm; but people bitch because Tate doesn't make the 52 Senators vote as he chooses. Last time I checked, there are individual Senators, 3:07, and they each cast their own vote. Would you prefer that the Lt. Governor just declare which bills pass and fail on his own volition?

Anonymous said...

@4:45
Are you out of your mind? Get your head out of the sand. Today's public schools are segregated largely due to the current lack of choice. Private schools are much more diverse than districts like JPS or delta area schools.if you want to have true desegregation then you must have school choice. Your very misinformed.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:05
Hold them accountable? It's the teachers union vs the students. Also, people in NE Jackson simple just go to private schools. It's the low income left behind. They rallied at capitol and it's hard to hold people accountable when the people that have the power go to private schools. Look at Jackson the wealthiest kids go to private schools so I'm not certain what your getting at

Kingfish said...

Teachers? unions? You're griping about teacher" unions in this state? Oooooooooooook.

Anonymous said...

@4:50, nice try. Tate's kids attend FPDS and Prep, although Ill grant you your point.

Anonymous said...

Does Tate have to mention how he was the "youngest" this and youngest that at every speech? Constantly name dropping too. Find it very hard to like a guy like this. This guy tries so hard to act humble but is anything but. Epitome of politician.

Anonymous said...

at the risk of repeating, " a pox on all their houses".

Anonymous said...

$5:28 my point I’m making is JPS and the Delta school districts do less with more. All those Jackson and Delta counties where the “entitled” kids go to private schools, still pay the same and their taxes go to school districts their kids DO NOT attend. They get more money per student than majority white/republican cities/counties, yet their school districts are failing. You connect the dots.

Anonymous said...

The youngest bank teller in the Florence branch of Trustmark bank.

Anonymous said...

Grant C gone primary y'alls backsides, boys. Ask Wanda Jennings what happens when you cross that homeschooler on a mission.

Anonymous said...

Our state will always be on the bottom until we shift gears on our education system and get out of this ditch. Vocational and Technical training needs to be a stand alone program that starts in high school. Not all students need to go to college. Our workforce is suffering and the state economy is not doing as well as it should. Promote schools with strong VoTechs and not just in community colleges. It has to start early. We are losing industries not because of the flag but because we have no training for young people to enter into a vocation. If you have ever tried to work someone with no type of training you would see what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

In other news from the Capitol.
Old Andy got his panties in a wad when Young brought his gun out.

Digbart Gardenhose said...

"The youngest bank teller in the Florence branch of Trustmark bank.February 8, 2018 at 7:49 PM"

Everybody starts somewhere. What's your problem with upward mobility? If his grandfather had founded the bank and Tate started out as Bank President, you'd be bitching about that too~

Anonymous said...

5:30 am I agree with you. In some areas of Mississippi, it's possible for a high school to work with the nearby junior college.
But, the real problem is that we don't see education as one ,united effort designed to make sure every child has his or her education needs met so that they have the opportunity to be the best they can be.
The societies with the most successful systems do.
We hold back and bore our gifted and don't help those with a variety of disabilities that need to be overcome.
One shoe does not fit all, but it's possible to have multiple sizes ..schools geared to special needs along with those schools for the average child. Children should move through the system based on what they've grasped and what they can learn next.
While there is evidence that bright children can be a positive influence on less gifted children, there can be structured opportunities for interaction without overburdening either the gifted or challenged child.
We need to stop tinkering with a system that is basically flawed and look at how those systems that work best are structured and come up with something that is child focused.
We may need to rethink how long we offer education. If we have a child who is gifted in science or math, and we need those skills, it is in our interest to make certain that child reaches his full potential even if that requires a PhD or an MD. Instead, we base it on ability to pay and what is available where he lives. It's money that drives every decision with zero thought about our Nation's long term survival.
But, the biggest problem we have to overcome is that too many of our citizens think knowledge is dangerous. Learning facts is not dangerous. Learning different philosophies is not dangerous. Ignorance is dangerous and we let parents prevent children from learning that which they don't want their child to know. We take away individual independence when we don't teach the individual how to think for themselves or deny them knowledge.
I have grieved over an extremely bright child with whom I had contact quite a while ago. After a brief time in public school. Her family started home schooling her when they could. Her parents barely graduated from high school. They lived in a rural community. That child has an ear for languages and picked up quickly a nearby adopted child's Russian. Both mothers stopped contact as both wanted their children to only speak English. The child with the gift for language rebelled in teen years . She lives with a truck driver and has babies but she still easily picks up other languages watching television or with her rare contacts with foreigners. She can't read or write well in any language. Her IQ was over 140 when tested before being home schooled. Waste...we waste people. She'd have made a great translator and we don't have enough of those. Her parents were well intentioned and I've no doubt they loved her and still do. But, they held her back in their fear and ignorance.
And, that we let fear and ignorance drive our politics is the worst problem we have.

Anonymous said...

@5:28 - Please tell us more about how 'teacher unions' in this state have any effect on the education system here. But let me tell you a few things before you embarrass yourself:

In Mississippi:

They have no collective bargaining.
They are not represented by a steward, agent or union official.
They cannot strike.
There is no union contract.
There is no union handbook.
There is no union grievance process.
They have no right to protest assignment.
There are no elections.
There are no union officers.
There are no shop stewards.
There are no union meetings.
They are not organized.
There are no union demands recognized by management.
There is no union involvement in disciplinary matters.
A union has no right to protest termination.
A union official is not present during disciplinary meetings.
There is no union power or authority.

In summary; Other than some teachers being stupid enough to fork over dues to a pseudo-union group, there is, in effect NO UNION.

But wait! Some woman, once a year, climbs up on the steps of a building somewhere with a sign and shouts a few comments and claims to be representing teachers. Then she heads to the bank.

Now...you were going to tell us what you meant by 'teacher unions vs students'?

Anonymous said...

@ 5:12,

The Schools are segregated today not because of a lack of school choice, but because of white flight in the 70's and 80's and middle class black flight in the 90's and 2000's (spurred on by the divestment caused by the dwindling tax base from the white flight in years prior). If you think private schools are more diverse than JPS and Delta schools, look again. Also, public schools don't discriminate in their admissions, the segregation there is due to the residential segregation in the community. What is the private schools' excuse for the segregation in them?

And for the crowd that screams "accountability" for poor districts that "spend more and do less" with state tax dollars. The reality is that they get more money from the state, but the suburbs actually spend way more in their schools because of the tax base and local contributions. Also, concentrated poverty creates contexts under which students come to school with many more (and expensive) needs in order to be educated. Whatever the home lacks, the schools must make up for, or risk widespread low academic achievement, as we see in many of our poor and minority schools around the state. Its just cheaper to educate a child from a middle class home, they present with less academic, health, and social needs.

It's time to bring real information and true critical thinking to the issue of schooling in MS and leave the rhetoric at the stump. No solutions in fear based rhetoric from echo-chambers.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit 8:35. We're all tired of that sort of old moaning and misery wallowing. The list is long of men who became millionaires and/or displayed genius who went to school barefoot, in over-alls with a wheat straw between his teeth!

What you want is more money thrown at the problem, the hiring of non-certified teachers, a broadening of Head-Start expenditures, doubling the staff at the central office to include more relatives and friends of friends and shoving problem kids out the far end of the pipeline into a world in which they can't produce. But, production is irrelevant to people like you who are interested primarily in entitlements and safety nets. And moaning.

Anonymous said...

@8:09 am

Great Points!!
Especially about the need to structure schooling for the long term needs of the country (and I might add state and local community) and the chief problem with Mississippi being a mistrust of new knowledge through education. Too often, public education is seen as a propaganda tool to entrench certain values and dispositions, rather than to expand the mind and allow for critical thinking and creativity to maximize the productivity of students. We see this starkly in the schools that serve poor and minority students around the state. Notice, where there are uniform policies in public schools, you will see school predominantly poor and minority students. This is an effort to culturally assimilate said students. These same schools demand strict uniform policies, but do not offer the African American studies course available in the state curriculum, nor offer very much in terms of advanced academic preparation or relevant curricular content. The reality is a truly educated citizen will question the status quo and have the tools to change it. And we wonder why many at the state capitol are anxious to create vouchers and divest from public schools in these communities???

Anonymous said...



"I live in Northeast Jackson and my child attends JA with tates... I notice he has school choice. Yeah... this stinks to high heaven."
February 8, 2018 at 4:50 PM

Did you attend a public school in Mississippi? Or did you attend a private school?

I ask, because your post is indecipherable. By "...my child attends JA with tates..." Did you mean, "...my child attends JA with Tate's..."?

WHAT stinks to high Heaven? ...your child? ..."tates" (assuming it's a condition, and not a person) ...Tate? ...Tate's child? ...the School Voucher situation?

I find it disturbing, that someone whose communications skills are as bad as yours, has a child in a private school. The quality of a school, mostly reflects the quality of the children attending that school. Judging from your inability to communicate, I cannot imagine your having reared a child who'd be an asset to a school.

Anonymous said...

8:09, 8:13, 8:35 & 9:37 rarely get invited to future parties...

No Invites Leads To Depression.. said...

2:37...How does one rarely get anything in the future? Did you mean 'WILL rarely get invited'? Did you mean 'Has RARELY GOTTEN invited...'? How do you know that? Or how can you PREDICT that?

Since this thread is about public schools, do you realize that there is a requirement that EVERYbody has to be invited to all parties so that feelings are not hurt and scholars are not made to feel bullied?

Please rethink your post going forward or you will 'rarely get' taken seriously.

Mrs. Miniver said...

February 8, 4:45, you have summed it up perfectly. Indeed, no reputable private school will take on problem kids, nor should they be forced to. And February 9 at 10:12, thank you for joining Team Ophelia, soundly thrashing the numbskull who was obviously drinking and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Feb 8 4:45 - well said. Actually this has already played out a little with the special needs vouchers. Parents soon discovered that about the only private school that would work with special needs is New Summit.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Catholic schools will also accept those with mental and physical handicaps; I know St. Richard's does.

Anonymous said...

It is also important to note that sometimes "special needs" is assumed to mean severely mentally handicapped, when in actuality the vouchers are intended for anyone with an IEP - which for the most part are "regular" students but with some learning disabilities such as dyslexia, or emotional/behavioral rulings. These students are usually still educated in the regular classroom, however some accommodations are made such as extra tutorials with SPED teachers, extra time, etc to help them succeed and graduate. These are the students that are usually not served in private schools. While some private schools do offer awesome programs for more profoundly handicapped, the "regular" students who just need the extra classroom accommodations are too expensive and time consuming for private schools.

Anonymous said...

Marshall Ramsey clearly doesn't want me as a black working mother to have a choice in my child's education. His drawing today was an insult to low income mom's in crappy school districts.

Johnny At The Blackboard said...

Since I don't read or see the paper, maybe Kingfish will show us the 'cartoon' to which you object.

Meanwhile: I'd like to request that February 9, 2018 at 8:35 AM clarify what he meant by suggesting there is 'diversity in Delta schools or JPS'.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:10
I wouldn't sweat anything that Marshall Ramsey draws in terms of his opinions however, that's proof that he certainly doesn't understand why these current charter school inner city mothers mostly black are promoting school choice. He's a limousine liberal and should be in NYC... but then again the clarion ledger moved him to part time years ago so I don't see a larger city newspaper picking up the has been. He should stay out of the inner city poor black family issue of school choice that I can agree with. He has NO idea what it's like.

Anonymous said...

JPS has absolutely NO diversity...

Anonymous said...

@8:35,
Your spewing garbage. Today's schools are segregated bc of lack of choice. Yes private schools are much more integrated than JPS and delta schools. Parents in poor zip codes should have access to good schools like parents in middle and higher income zip codes. Why would you deny a kid this right?

Anonymous said...

@ Feb. 11 7:17,

If the JPS schools are so segregated because of a lack of choice, and the private schools have the answer to educating children in poor families, why then don't the private schools do more in terms of scholarships and admissions for poor students? There is nothing stopping an elite private school in the Jackson Metro from creating scholarship programs and admitting all the JPS students they want, other than the "market" that says that poor students are too expensive to educate en masse and there is no profit in doing so. The lack of choice is not due to a lack of vouchers, but a lack of profit in schooling these kids at these private schools. No way places like Prep, MRA or JA are lining up to accept the student populations at Wingfield or Jim Hill.

Anonymous said...

A couple of points here-

1) Tate Reeves is a consummate politician who places his own ego and his political garbage before everything, including our children. Blame for the rise of these types rests squarely with the people who keep electing these clowns. It all starts with education, things will never get better until ALL of our schools improve. Guess what, it may cost a lot of money and it may force people to be in uncomfortable arrangements.

2) Education in Mississippi is broken with politicians, the MS. Department of Education and bloated administrative staffs impeding real reform. They are just fine with a few "high performing" districts, to hell with everyone else. If you want choice in schools now 1) buy hyperinflated real estate that is really worth nowhere near what you pay for it in a good district or 2) send your children to private school. And while we are talking about bloat and real strings in the system, the taxpayers should do a real inquiry into the MHSAA, just saying.

3) Schools now are more segregated than ever. How many children attend private school in Mississippi and how much are the combined budgets of these private institutions? How many children do they serve? Lay all of this on the table. What is the price of decent facilities? How much does it take to attract really good teachers?

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