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MississippiPEP Relaunches With New Design and New Features


Mississippi PEP has moved publication to our newly designed website HERE. 

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MDA allows for lower job requirements in state contract with solar panel company



Stion Corp. has renegotiated its contract with state in which its commitment of jobs creation has been cut in half and its time limit was lengthened by five years.

Its memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Development Authority, city of Hattiesburg and Forrest County, which was amended in November, was obtained by the Mississippi Business Journal under an Open Records Act request.

The maker of solar panels agreed in March 2011 to create 1,000 jobs by the end of 2017. Now it will have to create at least 500 jobs paying an average of $43,000 by the end of 2022.

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Tougher accountability model expected to show lower rankings for school districts across the state. 



Earning a top state rating is about to get significantly harder for schools in the Magnolia State.

The Mississippi Department of Education is preparing to release the first school rankings under the newest version of the state’s accountability model within the next few weeks and school districts across the state are expected to see lower rankings even as student performance continues to rise.

Booneville School District Superintendent Dr. Todd English, who serves as chairman of the department of education’s accountability task force, said parents and community members need to understand the upcoming ratings are based on criteria far different and more difficult than that used in the past.

“You simply can’t compare this scale to the old scale,” he said.

While retaining the well-known A-F designations, the requirements for achieving those rankings have been made much more rigorous and are now based on different sets of data. English said it’s’s expected less than 1 percent of districts across the state will receive an A rating and less than 10 percent a B rating when the results are issued.

“They’ve reset the bar and they’ve reset the bar so high it’s going to take several years to get back to where we used to be,” said English.

The new system puts less emphasis on the performance of individual students and much more focus on the lowest performing students and the progress students are making.

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Gov. Bryant appeals ruling on Religious Liberty law. 



Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday filed a notice that he will be appealing the federal judge’s ruling that stopped implementation and enforcement of the state’s recently passed religious exemption law.

Bryant also filed papers Thursday asking the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves, to put the preliminary injunction on hold during his appeal of the ruling.

The filings are signed by Bryant’s chief counsel, Drew Snyder, who entered a formal appearance as Bryant’s counsel on Thursday. The fillings suggest an apparent split with Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, whose office — as recently as a Wednesday filing — had been representing the governor in the litigation.

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State Sen. Chris Massey arrested on assault charges. 


UPDATE: WREG has updated their original report:

“Preliminary information suggested a local gardener was working in a subdivision when he was trying to get to a lawn to mow the lawn.

“According to the man Senator Massey’s truck was blocking the roadway, but he refused to move it.

“Words were exchanged and that’s when Massey allegedly pulled out a shovel.”

WREG reports that Mississippi lawmaker Senator Chris Massey has been arrested on assault charges in Olive Branch.

The Olive Branch Police Department confirmed they are processing Senator Chris Massey on charges of felony aggravated assault.

His bond was set at $10,000.

Geoff Pender at the Clarion Ledger reports Massey was arrested after “a fight with two other men in which Sen. Massey allegedly assaulted the men with a shovel.”

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Consolidation Commission meets to discuss dissolution of 3 school districts in Chickasaw County. 


  

A nine-member commission brought together to determine how the Legislature should create a united Chickasaw Consolidated School District met Wednesday with state leaders and cleared “a big hurdle” in the overall process, according to state leaders.

Members of the commission met Tuesday in Houlka with leaders from the state to offer input on how the Mississippi Legislature should dissolve Houston, Okolona and Houlka school districts and reconstitute them as a united Chickasaw Consolidated School District, as well as to determine how consolidated school board members would be chosen. It was not an easy decision for commission members.

“I think this was a big hurdle for this commission,” said Mike Kent, Mississippi Department of Education Deputy State Superintendent and Chickasaw Consolidation Commission Chairman. “Determining how this community wants to select the people who will direct a new consolidated school district was a very big decision. We covered a lot of ground today. I am pleased.”

This spring, the Mississippi Legislature demanded a study be completed on whether Houston, Okolona and Houlka should consolidate their central offices, superintendents and ancillary services under a newly formed Chickasaw Consolidated School District as outlined in Senate Bill 991.

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MS GOP: Governor Bryant and State of Mississippi Receive Prestigious Education Innovation Award



Governor Phil Bryant and the state of Mississippi have received the Frank Newman Award for Education Innovation. The state of Mississippi and its leader, Governor Bryant, were nominated to be the recipient of the award by the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) for the tremendous steps taken in educational improvements for the students of Mississippi and the implementation of polices impacting young Mississippians.

“Using innovation to modernize Mississippi’s education system has been a priority since I took office,” Governor Bryant said. “The reforms we’ve enacted are working, and I am grateful to ExcelinEd and the Education Commission of the States for recognizing Mississippi as a leader in revolutionizing public education.”

“Ever since I began working with the Governor years ago, he has always been passionate about education reform and doing everything he could to help the students in our state,” said MSGOP Chairman Joe Nosef. “This is a tremendous honor for our Governor, our Republican leadership, and the state of Mississippi to be recognized for revolutionizing our educational system and expanding opportunities for students.”

The Frank Newman Award was accepted by Laurie Smith, Ph.D., Education Policy Advisor to Governor Phil Bryant, on June 29, 2016 on the Governor’s behalf.

MSGOP Press Release

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