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Program provides breakfast to all students at qualifying schools
By Cheryl Owens | The Meridian Star | November 25, 2016
Paula Merritt/ The Meridian Star
The adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has national and nutrition organizations working together to provide "Breakfast in the Classroom" for all students.
All Mississippi students in qualifying schools could soon benefit from the Breakfast In the Classroom (The Partners) program, which has added Mississippi and nine other states to the list of those eligible for the grant-funded program.
The approach is simple. Children eat together in the classroom. usually the homeroom, at the start of the school day, after the morning bell. They enjoy nutritionally well-balanced foods such as breakfast wraps, yogurt, or fruit served directly in their classroom, grabbed from a cart in the hallway, or picked up in the cafeteria and taken to the classroom. Students eat breakfast while the teacher takes attendance, collects homework or teaches a short lesson plan so that no instructional time is lost.
The application process for Mississippi schools will begin soon, and will be implemented in the 2017-18 school year in the fall, said Joyce Helmick, president of the Mississippi Association of Educators.
"All districts will receive the information and it will be channeled down to the school," Helmick said. "We are also using our membership – our teachers in the different districts to encourage their principals and superintendent to participate in the program, or at least look at it and see if they are eligible for participation. Click to continue reading!
Is deliberately bankrupting our schools in state's future?
By Joyce Helmick, Special to the American
Hattiesburg American | November 23, 2016
Editorial in Choctaw Plaindealer | November 28, 2016
As a grandmother, educator and president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, I agree wholeheartedly with our members who are raising grave concerns about the real intent of revamping the state's funding formula. The purpose of the state's public education formula is to ensure funding is equitable throughout our state. Yet, for 16 of the 18 years this formula has been in existence, elected officials have failed to finance this critical equitable funding.
Mississippi educators are extremely troubled that state leaders have brought in a New Jersey company whose CEO is on record encouraging states to starve public schools into bankruptcy. In fact, she says that bankruptcy is a great opportunity for charter schools to take over our public schools. She also cheers on the opportunity for bankruptcy to eliminate pensions for teachers, administrators and school staff. This is morally wrong. (See video at maetoday.org/bankrupt.)
Deliberately bankrupting our public schools hurts our students and their hardworking educators. If this is a goal, or even a potential consequence of this committee's work is to eliminate retirement for school employees, our leaders must be perfectly clear and make it as part of a robust public debate. Click to continue reading!
EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia enthusiastically supports bankrupting public schools and eliminating pension obligations to educators, administrators, janitors, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and the rest of the school staff.
|"When you think about bankruptcy, this is a huge opportunity for school districts and this is something that EdBuild is going to focus on. ... When a school district goes bankrupt, all of their legacy debt can be eliminated. ...
How are we going to pay for the buildings? How are we going to bring in new operators when there is pension debt?
If we can eliminate that in an entire urban system, we can throw all the cards up in the air and redistribute everything with all new models. You've heard it first. Bankruptcy may be like THE THING that leads to the next education revolution."
- EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia
Testimony from Rebecca Temple, Madison County Association of Educators
November 17, 2016
Public Hearing on Public Education Funding Formula
Madison Association of Educators member Rebecca Temple, back, Jackson Association of Educators member Whitney Liles, left, and MAE President Joyce Helmick, right
GOOD AFTERNOON. My name Rebecca Temple and have been a public school teacher in Mississippi since 1996. I am a National Board Certified Teacher, and I hold a Master's degree in English.
Most importantly, I am the proud parent of three children who are students in the Madison County School District. I am here to show my support for fully funding an education program that supports our students in every aspect, from vocational to gifted, from alternative programs to transportation.
With respect to an attempt to create a new formula, I have yet to be convinced our current formula is in need of revision. Decades of research from the Center for Public Education show the "unequivocal connection between teacher quality and student learning." The study concluded with "three simple premises" about successful schools and advised:
"School reform cannot succeed unless it focuses on creating the conditions under which teachers can teach and teach well."
I respectfully submit to you, leaders of our state, that the students of Mississippi, from elementary students to those seeking a higher education, should be given every opportunity to receive an education that will provide them with a path to success in their futures.
This beautiful state, full of compassionate and strong people, deserves to be unified in equitable and quality education. Click here to continue reading!
Formula for funding is not all public schools, students need
BY CHARLIE MITCHELL
Interviewed on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Joyce Helmick made a great point. The topic was the state leadership's apparent quest to abandon Mississippi's existing K-12 funding formula, which they have called antiquated and ineffective. Her comment was, "How do we know? It hasn't been tried."
Helmick is a veteran classroom teacher who serves as president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, a group often called the "teacher union" and generally loathed in the halls of the Capitol.
But she's right, of course. To avoid federal intervention due to the disparity of state funds provided to "rich" vs. "poor" districts, the Legislature adopted the Mississippi Adequate Education Program and its equalization formula in 1997. The ploy worked. The feds backed off. Subsequently, in all years except two, the Legislature has declined to provide cash in the amount the formula indicated. Ignoring the formula continued even after the Legislature added stronger wording in 2005.
So now it's antiquated and ineffective?
Wilson Stribling, host of @Issue on Mississippi Public Broadcast host interviewed MAE President Joyce Helmick about the proposed changes in the Mississippi Adequate Education Program that funds the state's public schools. The interview aired on Friday, October 21, 2016. Click here or the image to watch the video on the MPB website!
MAE President Joyce Helmick on MPB's Morning Edition
Friday, October 21, 2016
Republican legislative leaders want to re-examine the state's education funding formula for public schools -- known as MAEP. They want to know if there's a way to get more money into classrooms, twenty years after the formula was created. An out-of-state firm has been hired to look into retooling the formula. Tonight's @Issue on MPB TV examines the topic in depth. In this clip, Joyce Helmick -- head of the Mississippi Association of Educators -- tells Wilson Stribling, MAEP is probably a good formula -- but it has only been fully funded twice since it was created.
The Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) believes that our state leaders should concentrate on what already works in our high performing schools and provide the funding to duplicate those initiatives everywhere. Our state's current funding formula is already a student-based model, the purpose of which is to ensure equitable funding for all students regardless of their zip code.
Yet, rather than fund our public schools equitably — especially our poorest rural schools, our state leaders gave $150,000 of our taxpayer dollars to a New York-based company to determine how our school funds are spent. That company helps investors get taxpayer dollars to run for-profit schools. For our students, public schools, and communities, this approach may not be sensible.
As president of the state's oldest professional educator association, I have had the honor of traveling throughout the state and witnessing what is already working in our public schools.
• Prentiss: Access to reading material like chapter books increases students' literacy, and their comprehension improves drastically.
• Vicksburg: Starting in kindergarten, "The Leader in Me" program develops leadership skills in elementary students, which is improving their overall achievement. Click to continue reading!
State Must Fund Public Education Equitably
By Joyce Helmick, MAE President
Clarion-Ledger | October 12, 2016
Meridian Star | October 13, 2016
Sun Herald | October 15, 2016
As a proud grandmother of two and a 37-year veteran educator in our state's public schools, I believe in public education. Like my educator colleagues throughout Mississippi, I love teaching and adore students!
Mississippi educators became educators to ignite in our students the passion and love for learning. We cherish watching our students as they blossom before our eyes.
Mississippi educators believe that all public education students – regardless of their zip code or background – need the tools and resources necessary for their success. Mississippi educators also know that public schools are the heart of every community and the economic engine for a community's prosperity.
a project of the Mississippi Association of Educators
Leflore County MAE member Cassandria Hansbrough
Talks About Solving Mississippi's Teacher Shortage
Listen to recently retired Leflore County MAE member Cassandria Hansbrough
as she talks about solving Mississippi's teacher shortage by partnering
Teacher Academy with the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE)!
It's back-to-school time, and this year, 30 NEA members will be returning with a fresh perspective. As NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows, their teaching practice has been transformed by global learning.
Read about their global learning from Peru to Brazil to India and read the 194 global lesson plans that have been shared nearly 7,000 times!