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Lt. Gov. Reeves: Education Reform Is High Priority

By Daniel Cherry | Published 01 Aug 2012 07:41pm | comments
Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves says reforming Mississippi's education system is going to be a high priority in the next legislative session. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how Reeves promised a crowd at the Neshoba County Fair, changes are on the way for public education.
"I have a message for people in both parties who are scared for the future of education reform: Buckle your seatbelts because reform is coming to Mississippi."
That was Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves' message to those who braved the heat yesterday at the Neshoba County Fair. Mississippi is at or near the bottom in many of the most important education statistics. Reeves hopes policy changes in the next legislative session will start to solve those problems.
"The reality is that we've got to do better and part of doing better is raising our expectations. We've got to raise our expectations of parents, of administrators, of teachers, and we've got to raise the expectations for our students as well, and that's something that we're going to work very hard to do."
Reeves is proud of some work during last year's legislative session, but one big letdown was the failure of the charter schools bill. Reeves' says he was disappointed with some lawmakers who said they supported the law.
"Every time we made a change in the bill, it just wasn't enough. They seem to me to keep moving the goalpost. Eventually you can only go so far. I said it during the session, I'll say it again: We already have a bad charter school law on the books, we don't need another one."
Reeves also says the Mississippi Board of Education made a mistake when they decided to omit graduation rates from school ratings this year. Steve Gaines of Sandhill heard Reeves' speech, and he's glad to hear the Republican Lieutenant Governor focusing on changes to public education.
"We've got to come up with a new system, and we've got that in place...Well they've got it to put in place, and I think it's going to work. I think we're going to be...I know we'll be better off than where we are now."
Charter schools are a major policy initiative for the Lieutenant Governor and Governor Phil Bryant. Last legislative session the law failed to gain enough support to pass the House Education Committee and go to a floor vote.




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