Education Funding In Legislature Brings Lawyers, PAC’s And Lobbyists Even When Lawmakers Agree.

By MississippI PEP Staff | January 22nd, 2018 at 6:34 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: Budget, Commentary, Democrats, Education, Ethics, Legislature, Mississippi, MS State Government, Opinion, Political Action Groups, Politics, Republican, School Choice, Spending

Given the stakes in something like the education funding formula rewrite, can we not get a better effort at cooperation? If you’ve listened very closely to the education funding formula debate the last year or so, barely audible under the din, nearly all parties have at one point or another said they agree in overall […]

Debate Over School Choice Legislation Could Get Contentious

By MississippI PEP Staff | January 10th, 2018 at 4:41 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: Education, Ethics, Legislature, MDE, Mississippi, MS State Government, News, School Choice

Influential school choice advocates are pushing to allow all families in Mississippi to have the option of using state funds for private schools.

If SPLC Charter Schools Lawsuit Successful Legislature Would Have To Devise New Funding Method

By MississippI PEP Staff | December 24th, 2017 at 5:00 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, City of Jackson, Education, MDE, Mississippi, Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board, MS State Government, News, School Choice

The Charter schools lawsuit points to two sections in the Mississippi constitution that say a school district’s ad valorem taxes – or local funding – may only be used for the district to maintain schools it oversees.

Factory-Like Schools Are the Child Labor Crisis of Today

By Kerry McDonald | November 18th, 2017 at 10:00 pm

BY: Kerry McDonald / Contributor

Kerry McDonald has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.

Filed Under: Civil Rights, Contributor, Economic Development, Education, Influencing Institutions, Job Growth, Liberty, Mississippi PEP, Opinion, School Choice

Compulsory schooling was meant to save children from the dangerous conditions of the factory, but these days, “traditional” schooling is easily just as dangerous to children’s well-being. Most American children and teenagers wake early, maybe gulp down a quick breakfast, and get transported quickly to the building where they will spend the majority of their […]

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 […]

80 Private Schools Participating In Special Needs ESA

By MississippI PEP Staff | April 13th, 2017 at 11:25 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: Education, Empower Mississippi, MDE, Mississippi, MS State Government, News, Principles of Freedom, School Choice

The number of schools participating in the Special Needs ESA program grew by more than 70 percent over the past year. According to data from the Mississippi Department of Education, reimbursements have been filed for 80 different private schools during the 2016-2017 school year, including five schools in Shelby County, Tennessee. Last year, in the first year of the program, students attended 46 different private schools.

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.

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.