The Empire Strikes Back: Public Schools and Education Remain Under Severe Attack in Mississippi

Informative new documents are available explaining the attacks on public education during the 2016 legislative session. Public education remains under attack in Mississippi and for the first time in the history of the state there exists a super conservative majority. The conservatives control the office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislature is using its power to move an agenda to privatize public education and to further undermine and weaken a system that is already vulnerable and ranked 50th in the country. Public schools and public education is under severe attack this legislative session with bills being introduced around vouchers, scholarships, charter schools, school choice, open enrollment, virtual schools, achievement school districts, school district consolidation, literacy, school funding, Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), and Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). These bills are the direct result of premeditation and malice on the part of our conservative legislature to devalue and destroy Mississippi’s public education system, children and families. To read and learn more about these heinous bills, please see the analysis of the bills prepared by Michael Sayer, public policy consultant to Southern Echo, Inc., as well as retired co-founder of Southern Echo for over 25 years and Gregory Johnson, Executive Director of Progress MS, former employee and current secretary of Southern Echo’s Board of Directors.

Southern Echo Releases 2 New Maps: 2016 House and Senate Districts with 2010 Black Voting Age Percentage

Job Announcement

Southern Echo releases 2 Color-Coded MAPS of Mississippi’s House of Representatives and Senate Districts that illustrate:
  • Black Voting Age Percentages for the 122 House Districts based on 2010 Census;
  • 122 House Districts redistricted by the MS State Legislature in 2012 with the names of each Representative and district they represent.
  • Black Voting Age Percentages for the 52 Senate Districts based on 2010 Census;
  • 52 Senate Districts redistricted by the MS State Legislature in 2012 with the names of each Senator and district they represent.


Southern Echo Releases 2 New Maps: MAEP underfunding per pupil in each school district and total underfunding per district

Job Announcement

Southern Echo releases 2 Color-Coded MAPS of Mississippi School Districts that illustrate:
  • FY 2016 MAEP underfunding PER PUPIL in each school district; and
  • FY 2016 MAEP underfunding PER DISTRICT.
  • FY 2016 MAEP Amount that should have been allocated to each district if MAEP FULLY FUNDED
  • FY 2016 MAEP Amount each district lost because MAEP NOT FULLY FUNDED
Fiscal Year 2016 runs from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016, which is the current school year.

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Southern Echo Comments on Legislature and MDHS Measures to Cut SNAP Benefits

Southern Echo is starting the New Year with excitement and hope as we position ourselves to make a major impact on equitable public education funding and policies; and, work to substantially reduce poverty in Mississippi. We find it appauling that the legislature and MDHS has taken measures to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP benefits, for thousands of Mississippi’s most vulnerable households at a time when child hunger in MS is among the highest in the country and the state ranks #1 in child poverty. Here’s a snapshot of child poverty and food inequity In Mississippi.

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NM Walkouts: Young People of Color Fight Corporate Testing Webinar

SxS REGISTER HERE to join Albuquerque youth organizers Janelle Astorga Ramos (SouthWest Organizing Project) and Maya Quiñones for a conversation about the recent student walk-outs in New Mexico to protest the implementation of the PARCC standardized test in public schools there, and prospects for the work moving forward. The conversation will place the anti-test movement in the context of broader themes of public education such as push-out and the criminalization of youth. Our host will be youth and education organizer Kameisha Smith (Southern Echo) of Holmes County, Mississippi.

This webinar will be accompanied by a Twitter Chat. Our hashtag is #OurEducation.

You can join the webinar from a computer with webcam and microphone or by phone. You will be sent information on how to join the webinar once we receive your registration information. Looking forward to seeing you March 24!