To: Reporters and Editors
From: Mississippi Association of Educators
Date: November 17, 2023
Subject: Raise Mississippi is on the move
It’s just been a month since the launch of Raise Mississippi, but it is clear that our community-led vision for high quality public schools for each student in every community in the state is gaining support and traction.
From Tupelo to Natchez and everywhere in between, Mississippians recognize that our state’s future depends on the priorities we set today. As MAE President Erica Jones said in an op-ed that ran in several statewide papers, “public schools are cornerstones of our communities and the fuel for our economic future and quality of life.”
We know what a great school looks like: classrooms with up-to-date technology, books, and learning materials, access to a broad range of in-school supports including school nurses, librarians, counselors and more art and music teachers, safe, clean and modern school buildings, and nutritious meals.
With 90 percent of Mississippi children attending Mississippi public schools, the urgency to act is fierce. For too long, our state has languished when it comes to investing in public education. In fact, Mississippi schools spend less per student than almost any other state in the nation. Our teachers are paid less than their colleagues in most neighboring states, and our graduates are forced to leave for better opportunities elsewhere, draining the state of precious human capital and putting Mississippi at a competitive disadvantage.
Next week, we’ll be announcing a series of regional town hall meetings to bring the vision of Raise Mississippi to communities across the state. We know, despite the cynicism that prevails in too many conversations these days, conversations with our neighbors is still the best way to advance progress, change. We have seen that our message about doing right by our public school students, educators and schools as a way to propel Mississippi’s rise is one that resonates with folks no matter where they live or if they are a public school parent or not.
Engaging in conversations and working together to find the best way to create the kind of state we want to live, work and raise a family in is a critical step in ensuring a brighter future for our children. This coalition made up of Mississippians from different backgrounds and viewpoints, all focused on supporting our students and strengthening our public schools, will be the driving force to create the change we need to Raise Mississippi ahead of the November elections and the 2024 legislative session. Stronger schools today mean a stronger Mississippi tomorrow – and that will be our message in the weeks and months ahead.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or to request an interview with President Jones or MAE leadership.
775 North State Street,
Jackson MS, 39202 (601) 354-4463 | maetoday.org
- Pam Johnson
- [email protected]