PRC School Board discuss top concerns and priorities

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Board of Trustee members fall in deep discussion about what they think are their top concerns and priorities they have in the school district.

 Board of Trustees members discuss their top concerns and priorities in the school district.

The Pearl River County School District held their monthly meeting on Monday to discuss multiple topics, which included finishing the rest of the 2016 Mississippi Legislative Survey. Board of Trustees members Elaine Voss and Natalie Glorioso were not at the meeting.

The Board of Trustees has three ways to vote on each question, either support, oppose or have no opinion on the matter.

The first half of the survey was discussed and voted upon by the Board of Trustees on Sept. 12. This final half of the survey asked the Board to categorize their top legislative concerns as well as their top legislative priorities for the state.

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The Board unanimously agreed that funding is the number one legislative concern. The second most important was the increase of state control.

“I have recently noticed a push for more state control when it comes to districts. We want to keep that local so we can focus on our concerns and be able to do what we need to do,” Jeff Jones, Board of Trustees member said.

The Board supported Jones’ stance that control should remain local.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin brought up another concern the Board faces, which he said, “could very well be a national concern;” the amount of state testing high school students go through in a single school year. These tests include state tests that have no bearing on whether a student is accepted into college like the ACT, Lumpkin said.

“It not only takes away valuable educational time these students could have, but it affects all of the students and staff as well,” President Jeremy Weir said.

The Board again unanimously agreed that the first priority is full funding from MAEP, which links to their number one concern of funding.

Also, the Board would like to get rid of the 63% enrollment formula and instead go toward basing enrollment on the average daily enrollment.

Other survey questions voted on during the meeting were:

  • Unanimously opposing legislation that provides an income tax deduction to parents who home school or send children to private school.
  • Unanimously opposing legislation to create a tax credit scholarship act allowing people to make tax-deductible donations to a qualifying scholarship organization that provides scholarships to students who attend K-12 non public schools.
  • Unanimously opposing legislation allowing students attending C,D or F schools to transfer to an A or B school.

“I oppose simply because of the C. Now you are taking dollars away from those that are already struggling,” Weir said.

  • Opposing legislation to allow money to be diverted from public schools to non public schools, home schools or virtual schools by means of vouchers, tuition tax credits or scholarships.
  • Unanimously oppose allowing virtual schools to operate in the state under the same structure as Mississippi charter schools.

“I oppose because we do not agree with how charter schools operate.” Kimberly Alford, curriculum coordinator said.

  • Unanimously supporting legislation creating a structured statewide approach to quality early childhood education.

More on the PRC School District meeting will be covered in Wednesday’s edition of the Item.