March 11, 2009
Possibly I am missing something. However, I think I smell the stink of elitism, favoritism, backdoor or side door re-segregation, chicanery, trickery, misinformation, disinformation, etc. being obscured in House Bill 1142 and Senate Bill 2628 - as has apparently been evident in some past education legislation.
Let me get this right: The Mississippi Math and Science School nor the Mississippi School of the Arts come under the numerical accountability system overseen by the Mississippi Department of Education.
Further any new Charter Schools anticipated by House Bill 1142 and Senate Bill 2628 are not going to be subjected to the Mississippi Department of Education''s Numerical Accountability system or the new proposed seven tiered non-numerical system.
Moreover, the annual per pupil expenditure for the Mississippi Math and Science School is estimated to be somewhere around the amount of $29,000 to $30,000 per year per pupil.
In the same vein the annual per pupil expenditure for the Mississippi School of Arts is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $18,000 to $19,000 per year per pupil. Hmmmm!!
Also of note is that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program which was enacted to give school districts with inadequate financial resources at least in theory some little chance to be able to compete with the districts that have superior financial resources. In the 11 years that it has been the law it has only been fully funded three times. In each instance, I believe, those times were during election years.
Perhaps the legislature should revisit House Bill 1142 and Senate Bill 2628 for another very serious look; as well as some of the other laws that form the underpinnings of this education system that we have.
Remember that the overall average per pupil expenditure per year in Mississippi is estimated to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,500 to perhaps $5,000 per pupil. Hmmmm!!!
Again it appears that House Bill 1142 and Senate Bill 2628, The Proposed New Accountability System, as well as the Provisions that created the Math and Science School and the School of Art smack of elitism, favoritism, and perhaps the backdoor and/or side door to re-segregation of the schools in Mississippi. If someone can enlighten me differently I would appreciate it greatly.
Bennie L Jones, Jr.
Editor''s note: According to recent budget figures, the per-student cost at MSMS and MSA is between $23,000 and $24,000. The student body is comprised 11th and 12th graders from widely varying socio-economic backgrounds.