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Bryant names former justice Ann Lamar to College Board

Gov. Phil Bryant is naming recently retired Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Ann Lamar of Senatobia to the College Board. The 64-year-old Lamar replaces Karen Cummins, a trustee who died from cancer in January, representing the northern third of the state. Senators must confirm Lamar’s nomination to 12-member board, which oversees Mississippi’s eight public universities. She would serve the remainder of ...

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Mississippi lawmakers pledge school funding details soon

Top Mississippi lawmakers say a new K-12 school funding formula will be unveiled this week and it won’t raise the share that local districts must pay. House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Read, a Gautier Republican, says he expects a plan “in the next couple of days.” Placeholder bills could be amended with details as lawmakers consider them before a Thursday ...

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Top school districts could become exempt on reports to state

The Mississippi House voted Monday to exempt top-rated school districts from having to report information about curriculum and some other matters to the state Department of Education. House Bill 1224 also would allow A- and B-rated districts to offer financial incentives to teachers. Some lower-rated school districts have difficulty attracting teachers, and current state law lets them forgive student loans ...

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Jackson State asks alumni to give to offset cash crunch

Jackson State University’s temporary leader Monday asked alumni to dig into their pockets to overcome the school’s financial challenges. Interim President Rod Paige stated in a letter to graduates that the 10,000-student university’s expenses are exceeding income. He asked graduates to each contribute $100 to an “urgent fundraising campaign” that seeks to raise $5 million. “This is a special personal ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Inflated university enrollment costs taxpayers

With tight state budgets looming for the foreseeable future, government operations must be rationalized to higher levels of efficiency and performance. Mississippi’s public universities should not be exempt from this process.    In last week’s column I suggested legislators look hard at university admission standards and out-of-state tuition. IHL’s current approach is to admit under-prepared students and to discount out-of-state ...

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Jackson State to repay $1.17M in federal science money

Jackson State University will pay $1.17 million to settle claims that it didn’t keep records supporting spending of federal money, and then faked records it gave to auditors. The federal prosecutor in Jackson announced the agreement Wednesday about National Science Foundation grants the university received from 2006 to 2011. U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis says JSU agreed to repay the money ...

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No funding map, lawmakers say property-rich areas won’t lose

JEFF AMY, Associated Press It could be weeks before Mississippians see any real proposals from their representatives on a new school funding formula, but some lawmakers said Tuesday they won’t require any districts to contribute more property taxes — something that could markedly drive up costs of other changes recommended by a consultant. The Senate Education and House Appropriations committees ...

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School desegregation accord reached in Mississippi district

A Mississippi Delta school district has agreed to a settlement in a long-running desegregation lawsuit, a lawyer said Monday evening. The Cleveland school board voted unanimously to accept a settlement, district lawyer Jamie Jacks said. The 3,500-student district had originally sought to maintain historically black and white high schools, but U.S. District Judge Debra Brown ruled in May that such ...

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Some Republicans seek end to automatic school money demands

Lost in the debate over how much the state of Mississippi should spend on schools this year is an equally important question: How much should the state be expected to spend on schools in future years? The current school funding formula regularly refigures the amount called for to account for changing costs. But Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves ...

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Jackson parents’ group gets $1M from Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is giving $1 million to a parents’ group to improve parental engagement and student literacy in Jackson city schools. Parents for Public Schools of Jackson announced Friday that it was receiving the money. The nonprofit group says it will focus the money on students of all ages in the Lanier High School attendance zone for the ...

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