Governor highlights educational wish list - - The News for South Mississippi

Governor highlights educational wish list

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With education set to dominate at the state capitol this year, Governor Phil Bryant isn't holding back from what he calls an aggressive stop at nothing approach to making big changes to how kids are educated.

"We call it education works, because in fact it does," said Bryant.

Bryant detailed that approach to a large part of the state's business sector during the Mississippi Economic Council's Capital Day. As one of state's largest private non-partisan groups, the council is backing Bryant's policy.

"It will bring results if we all continue to do the rights things," said Blake Wilson with MEC.

Those things, according to Bryant start early and he says it's more than just charter schools. He's asking the legislature for $3 million to fund research from Mississippi Building Blocks. He's also pushing a move to hold third graders back based on literacy.

"If that child can't read at the third grade level, stop it right there. Don't socially promote him on to the fourth grade," said Bryant.

To provide teacher incentives, Bryant is asking the legislature for $2 million dollars to fund a pilot program for a performance-based pay system.

"I'm not expecting them to take a class that's failing and make it a star, but have progress and move them forward," said Bryant.

Bryant is also pushing lawmakers to allow open enrollment which would let any student cross district lines and go to the school of their choice.

"Let parents have a choice so a child can have a chance and you know what we call that to, competition. You know what those schools loosing those kids are going to do; they're going to figure out a way to get better," said Bryant.

Bryant says the accepting schools would have to agree and have room in the classroom for it to happen. While he doesn't expect his entire wish list to be granted, Bryant says it's time to get started.

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