CALLEN: Supreme Court’s Trinity Lutheran Decision A Win For School Choice

By Grant Callen | June 26th, 2017 at 4:38 pm

BY: Grant Callen / President - Empower Mississippi

Grant Callen is a sixth generation Mississippian who grew up in Laurel. He founded Empower Mississippi in 2014. Previously, Grant served as Director of Development for the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. He is an alumnus of The Witherspoon Fellowship in Washington D.C.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Christianity, Civil Rights, Contributor, Education, Empower Mississippi, Faith, Feature Stories, Federal Government, Grant Callen, Influencing Institutions, Inspirational, Liberty, Mississippi PEP, National, Opinion, Politics, Principles of Freedom, Religion, School Choice

Today the United States Supreme Court delivered a victory for school choice in ruling that the government cannot deny a neutral benefit to an organization simply because they are religious.

Empower MS Hires Two Outreach Coordinators To Connect To More Parents Across State

By Keith Plunkett | June 12th, 2017 at 7:24 am

BY: Keith Plunkett / Managing Editor

Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund, and the Founder and Publisher of MississippiPEP.com.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, City of Jackson, Delta, Desoto County, Education, Empower Mississippi, Feature Stories, Gulf Coast, Influencing Institutions, Leadership, Liberty, MDE, Mississippi, Mississippi PEP, News, Politics, School Choice

Empower Mississippi has successfully pushed a number of education reform policies through the Legislature, including a program that allows students with disabilities to receive monetary assistance for educational expenses. On June 8, the organization announced the hiring of two community outreach coordinators, Anna Beth Houston and Constance White. Empower Mississippi President Grant Callen announced the two […]

WILSON: Mississippi Charter Schools Case Hinges On Key Constitutional Question

By Steve Wilson | April 5th, 2017 at 11:58 pm

BY: Steve Wilson / Watchdog.org

A reporter with Watchdog.org, a member of the Mississippi Press Association and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Steve served four-plus years in the United States Coast Guard after his high school graduation and is a native of Mobile, Ala.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Contributor, Education, Ethics, Liberty, Mike Hurst, Mississippi, Mississippi PEP, MS Attorney General, MS State Government, School Choice, Spending

According to state law, if a child lives 30 miles or more for a school located in their district, they can attend a school in an adjacent district. The money that the old district received for that child, both in state and local tax revenue, follows the child to the new school.

Attorneys also brought up the matter of conservatorships, where the state takes over a failing school district and fires the local superintendent and the school board. Under such a scenario, the Mississippi Department of Education appoints a conservator to get the district back on track. At no point during this process does the local district have any control over the property tax revenues still flowing into its coffers.

Judge Hears Arguments To Defund Mississippi Charter School Law

By MississippI PEP Staff | April 5th, 2017 at 11:43 pm

BY: MississippI PEP Staff /

The MS PEP Staff consists of a number of volunteers across the state dedicated to sharing news and commentary important to conservatives.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Education, Liberty, Mississippi, MS State Government, News, Spending

State government and charter school supporters defended the law. They argue the parents represented by Bardwell don’t have legal standing to sue, that funding is transferred from district to district in other situations, and that schools aren’t required to be overseen by a state or local superintendent.

MURPHY: Conservatives & Education Reform: Lessons from the Marriage Battle

By David Murphy | April 5th, 2017 at 10:51 am

BY: David Murphy / Historian

David Thomas Murphy is a historian of modern European culture and politics. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Murphy is the author of The Heroic Earth: Geopolitical Thought in Weimar Germany, 1918-1933, German Exploration of the Polar World: A History, and Murder in Their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre, among other books.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Commentary, Culture, Democrats, Education, Gay Rights, Influencing Institutions, Liberty, National, Opinion, Politics, Principles of Freedom, Progressivism, School Choice, Social Justice

Those conservatives who favor educational reform, who favor greater diversity in the application of state-collected money, currently face an unprecedented, even historic, opportunity, under perhaps the most sympathetic administration and Congress they have enjoyed in decades. Not since the late 1940s, when with the Everson vs. Board of Education case, state-controlled schools began to exert monopolistic control over the disposition of public educational funds, has the alignment of political forces been so promising for the advocates of educational choice.

So Far, Applicants To Propose Nine Charter Schools For Approval By May 9 Deadline.

By MississippI PEP Staff | March 19th, 2017 at 6:10 am

BY: MississippI PEP Staff /

The MS PEP Staff consists of a number of volunteers across the state dedicated to sharing news and commentary important to conservatives.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Common Core, Education, Ethics, MDE, News, School Choice, Superintendents

All groups must submit full applications by May 9 containing educational, financial and operational plans. Some are likely to drop out along the way or be cut later for incomplete plans. The board is scheduled to vote on proposals Sept. 11, after reviewing applications.

Empower Mississippi: Important Rulings On Charter School Lawsuit Only Weeks Way

By MississippI PEP Staff | March 17th, 2017 at 6:35 am

BY: MississippI PEP Staff /

The MS PEP Staff consists of a number of volunteers across the state dedicated to sharing news and commentary important to conservatives.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Education, Empower Mississippi, Ethics, Grant Callen, Mike Hurst, Mississippi, Mississippi Supreme Court, MS State Government, School Choice

A lawsuit to force parents to remove their children from charter schools has been proceeding quietly for several months, but important rulings are expected to be handed down in the next few weeks.

If ‘F’ Ranked Schools Flunk Again In 2017-2018, Will Be Eligible For Takeover By Mississippi Achievement School District.

By MississippI PEP Staff | December 23rd, 2016 at 9:55 pm

BY: MississippI PEP Staff /

The MS PEP Staff consists of a number of volunteers across the state dedicated to sharing news and commentary important to conservatives.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Education, MDE, MS State Government, News, Superintendents

School districts rated “F” for the 2015-16 school year in Mississippi face a shakeup in governance structure if they flunk again this year. But the potential ousting of school board members won’t come from angry constituents at the polls. Starting in the 2017-18 school year, such districts would be eligible for a takeover by the […]

Getting Started Late, PEER Committee Expected To Issue Only 4 Reports

By MississippI PEP Staff | December 2nd, 2016 at 6:50 am

BY: MississippI PEP Staff /

The MS PEP Staff consists of a number of volunteers across the state dedicated to sharing news and commentary important to conservatives.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Ethics, Legislature, MDOC, Medicaid, Mississippi State House, Mississippi State Senate, MS State Government, News, PERS, PERS, SLRP, Tate Reeves

The Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, or PEER, is back up and running. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves missed the normal appointment time in April, finally getting around to naming his seven appointments in late October. The legislative watchdog group was established nearly 50 years ago. The committee issued it’s first report […]

Judge Allows Three Groups to Join Charter School Lawsuit

By MississippI PEP Staff | September 29th, 2016 at 7:23 am

BY: MississippI PEP Staff /

The MS PEP Staff consists of a number of volunteers across the state dedicated to sharing news and commentary important to conservatives.

Filed Under: Charter Schools, Civil Rights, Hinds County, Mike Hurst, News, School Choice

A Hinds County judge will let three groups that favor charter schools intervene in a lawsuit challenging whether such schools can legally receive Mississippi education money. Mike Hurst, representing a group of parents from Midtown Public Charter School, says Chancery Judge Dewayne Thomas made the decision after a Wednesday hearing. Lawyers for the three groups […]