Jackson, MS, Nov. 18, 2008 — At the end of October 2008 MS Governor Haley Barbour demanded that the MS Dept. of Education cut 2 percent from the current state appropriation for local school district funds, along with every other state agency, to address the revenue shortfall caused by the economic recession.

State Supt. of Education Hank Bounds vigorously opposed the cuts and shot back that a 2 percent cut in the middle of this fiscal year would force at least 20 local school districts into the “red” in violation of the state law prohibition against school districts operating with a budget deficit. Bounds was supported in his opposition to the cuts by the Lt. Governor, the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees, members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, numerous parent and student organizations both black and white, local school district leaders and business organizations. (more…)

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Awards PresentationItta Bena, MS, Nov. 13, 2008 — First they spent the day talking some serious stuff, then they par-tayed. 500 students, parents, educators and public officials from more than 20 counties in the Delta region came together at the MS Valley State University campus on Nov. 13 for a one-day celebration of the past 5 years of work together to impact state education policy in the effort to build a quality public education accessible to all children.

This conference was the 5th and final gathering in the series that begin in 2004 as a partnership of Southern Echo and the MS Delta Catalyst Roundtable with the MS Dept. of Education and MS Valley State University.

The conference focused on assessments of the successes, limitations and lessons learned from the collaboration to impact education policies concerning full funding of the MS Adequate Education Program, enhanced funding for children at-risk, dropout prevention and graduation rates, the use of state and local budgets to control education policy and the central importance of effective engagement of parents and students in policy formation and implementation at the local school district level. (more…)

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October 8, 2008, Jackson, MS – Eight parents, students, school board members and activists in the MS Delta Catalyst Roundtable were among those who testified at a public input hearing of the Legislative Task Force on Underperforming Schools held to allow education activists a brief opportunity to share their views.

Ellen Reddy, Director of Nollie Citizens for Quality Education and Joyce Parker, Director of Citizens for a Better Greenville, emphasized the need to bring parents and students into the schools to create positive behavior intervention models to provide students the support they need to stay in school. (more…)

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September 24, 2008, Greenwood, MS – How do we get schools to keep students in schools where they can learn, rather than pushing them into the pipeline from schoolhouse to jailhouse?

That is what 48 parents, students and community members from under-performing school districts in the Mississippi Delta came together to learn in Greenwood, MS at a workshop on Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies prepared by the MS Delta Catalyst Roundtable.

The REACH MS program of the University of Southern Mississippi provided the training under a grant from the US Department of Education and the MS Department of Education Office of Special Education. (more…)

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Harvard Graduate Students Study Southern Echos WorkOctober 15, 2008, MS Delta – Harvard University Graduate School of Education researchers Kenneth Russell and Mara Tieken this week wrapped up the field research portion of their study of Southern Echo’s community organizing buy zolpidem no prescription model designed to empower grassroots communities to create a quality public education accessible to all children in Mississippi.

The study also includes Nollie Citizens for Quality Education in Holmes County, Sunflower County Parents and Students Organization in Indianola, Citizens for a Better Greenville in Washington County, and Concerned Citizens for a Better Tunica County. (more…)

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