Article VIII, Mississippi Constitution

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Mississippi Constitution
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Article 8 of the Mississippi Constitution is entitled Education. It has 16 sections.

Section 201

Text of Section 201:

Free Public Schools

The Legislature shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of free public schools upon such conditions and limitations as the Legislature may prescribe.[1]

Amendments

  • The 1960 amendment to Section 201 was proposed by Laws 1960, ch. 547, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 8, 1960, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on November 23, 1960.
  • The 1987 amendment to Section 201 was proposed by Laws 1987, ch. 671, House Concurrent Resolution No. 9, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 3, 1987, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on December 4, 1987.

Section 202

Text of Section 202:

State Superintendent of Public Education

(1) Until July 1, 1984, there shall be a Superintendent of Public Education elected at the same time and in the same manner as the Governor, who shall have the qualifications required by the Secretary of State, and hold his office for four (4) years, and until his successor shall be elected and qualified, who shall have the general supervision of the common schools and of the educational interests of the state, and who shall perform such other duties and receive compensation as shall be prescribed by law. However, an election for the Superintendent of Public Education shall not be held at the general election in 1983, and the term of the Superintendent of Public Education who was elected at the general election in 1979 shall be extended to July 1, 1984, on which date it shall expire.

(2) From and after July 1, 1984, there shall be a State Superintendent of Public Education who shall be appointed by the State Board of Education, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and serve at the board's will and pleasure. He shall possess such qualifications as may be prescribed by law. He shall be the chief administrative officer for the State Department of Education and shall administer the department in accordance with the policies established by the State Board of Education. He shall perform such other duties and receive such compensation as shall be prescribed by law.[1]

Amendments

  • The 1982 amendment to Section 202 was proposed by Laws 1982, ch. 616, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 506, of the 1982 regular session of the Legislature, and upon ratification of the electorate on November 2, 1982, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on January 28, 1983.

Section 203

Text of Section 203:

State Board of Education

(1) Until July 1, 1984, there shall be a board of education, consisting of the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the Superintendent of Public Education, for the management and investment of the school funds according to law, and for the performance of such other duties as may be prescribed. The superintendent and one (1) other of said board shall constitute a quorum.

(2) From and after July 1, 1984, there shall be a State Board of Education which shall manage and invest school funds according to law, formulate policies according to law for implementation by the State Department of Education, and perform such other duties as prescribed by law. The board shall consist of nine (9) members of which none shall be an elected official. The Governor shall appoint one (1) member who shall be a resident of the Northern Supreme Court District and who shall serve an initial term of one (1) year, one (1) member who shall be a resident of the Central Supreme Court District and who shall serve an initial term of five (5) years, one (1) member who shall be a resident of the Southern Supreme Court District and who shall serve an initial term of nine (9) years, one (1) member who shall be employed on an active and full-time basis as a school administrator and who shall serve an initial term of three (3) years, and one (1) member who shall be employed on an active and full-time basis as a schoolteacher and who shall serve an initial term of seven (7) years. The Lieutenant Governor shall appoint two (2) members from the state at large, one (1) of whom shall serve an initial term of four (4) years and one (1) of whom shall serve an initial term of eight (8) years. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint two (2) members from the state at large, one (1) of who shall serve an initial term of two (2) years and one (1) of whom shall serve an initial term of six (6) years. The initial terms of appointees shall begin on July 1, 1984, and all subsequent appointments shall begin on the first day of July for a term of (9) years and continue until their successors are appointed and qualify. An appointment to fill a vacancy which arises for reasons other than by expiration of a term of office shall be for the unexpired term only. The Legislature shall by general law prescribe the compensation which members of the board shall be entitled to receive. All members shall be appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate and no members shall be actively engaged in the educational profession except as stated above.[1]

Amendments

  • The 1982 amendment to Section 203 was proposed by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 506, ch. 616, of the 1982 regular session of the Legislature, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 2, 1982, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on January 28, 1983.

Section 204

Text of Section 204:

County Superintendents of Education

There shall be a superintendent of public education in each county, who shall be appointed by the board of education by and with the advice and consent of the senate, whose term of office shall be four years, and whose qualifications, compensation, and duties, shall be prescribed by law: Provided, That the legislature shall have power to make the office of county school superintendent of the several counties elective, or may otherwise provide for the discharge of the duties of county superintendent, or abolish said office.[1]

Section 205

Text of Section 205:

Repealed.[1]

Amendments

  • Former Section 205 empowered the Legislature to establish and maintain free public schools and the term or terms thereof in each county of the state.
  • The repeal of Section 205 was proposed by Laws 1987, ch. 671, House Concurrent Resolution No. 9, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 3, 1987, was deleted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on December 4, 1987.

Section 206

Text of Section 206:

State Common-School Fund; Additional Tax Levy by District

There shall be a state common-school fund, to be taken from the General Fund in the State Treasury, which shall be used for the maintenance and support of the common schools. Any county or separate school district may levy an additional tax, as prescribed by general law, to maintain its schools. The state common-school fund shall be distributed among the several counties and separate school districts in proportion to the number of educable children in each, to be determined by data collected through the office of the State Superintendent of Education in the manner to be prescribed by law.[1]

Amendments

  • The 1989 amendment to Section 206 of was proposed by Laws 1989, ch. 589, House Concurrent Resolution No. 9, and upon ratification by the electorate on June 20, 1989, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on August 1, 1989.

Section 206-A

Text of Section 206-A:

Establishment of Education Improvement Trust Fund

There is hereby created and established in the State Treasury a trust fund which may be used, as hereinafter provided, for the improvement of education within the State of Mississippi. There shall be deposited in such trust fund:

(a) The state's share of all oil severance taxes and gas severance taxes derived from oil and gas resources under state-owned lands or from severed state-owned minerals;

(b) (b) Any and all monies received by the state from the development, production and utilization of oil and gas resources under state-owned lands or from severed state-owned minerals, except for the following portions of such monies:

(i) All mineral leasing revenues specifically reserved by general law in effect at the time of the ratification of this amendment for the following purposes: (A) management of a state leasng program; (B) clean-up, remedial or abatement actions involving pollution as a result of oil or gas exploration or production; (C) management or protection of state waters, land and wildlife; or (D) acquisition of additional waters and land; and

(ii) Monies derived from sixteenth section lands and lands held in lieu thereof or from minerals severed from sixteenth section lands and lands held in lieu thereof; and

(iii) Monies derived from lands or minerals administered in trust for any state institution of higher learning or administered therefore by the head of any such institution;

(c) Any gift, donation, bequest, trust, grant, endowment or transfer of money or securities designated for said trust fund; and

(d) All such monies from any other source whatsoever as the Legislature shall, in its discretion, so appropriate or shall, by general law, so direct.

The principal of the trust fund shall remain inviolate and shall be invested as provided by general law. Interest and income derived from investment of the principal of the trust fund may be appropriated by the Legislature by a majority vote of the elected membership of each house of the Legislature and expended exclusively for the education of the elementary and secondary school students and/or vocational and technical training in this state.[1]

Amendments

  • The insertion of Section 206-A was proposed by Laws 1985, ch. 546, House Concurrent Resolution No. 35, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 4, 1986, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on November 20, 1986.
  • Laws 1966, ch. 399, §2, effective July 1, 1986, provides as follows:

“Upon the effective date of this act, any funds, including interest earned theron, to the credit of the special fund for the administration of the Mineral Lease Division of the Department of Natural Resources and to the credit of the Gulf and Wildlife Protection Fund, which are in excess of the amounts set forth in Section 29-7-3 to be used for the purposes prescribed therin, shall be transferred into the Education Trust Fund created in Section 206-A.”

Section 207

Text of Section 207:

Repealed.[1]

Amendments

  • Former Section 207 provided that separate schools be maintained for “children of the white and colored races.”
  • The repeal of Section 207 was proposed by Laws 1977, ch. 587, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 557, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 7, 1978, was deleted by proclamation by the Secretary of State on December 22, 1978.

Section 208

Text of Section 208:

Control of Funds by Religious Sect; Certain Appropriations Prohibited

No religious or other sect or sects shall ever control any part of the school or other educational funds of this state; nor shall any funds be appropriated toward the support of any sectarian school, or to any school that at the time of receiving such appropriation is not conducted as a free school.[1]

Section 209

Text of Section 209:

Institutions for Education of Deaf, Dumb and Blind

It shall be the duty of the legislature to provide by law for the support of institutions for the education of the deaf, dumb, and blind.[1]

Section 210

Text of Section 210:

Sale of Public School Supplies

No public officer of this state, or any district, county, city, or town thereof, nor any teacher or trustee of any public school, shall be interested in the sale, proceeds, or profits of any books, apparatus, or furniture to be used in any public school in this state. Penalties shall be provided by law for the violation of this section.[1]

NOTE: Senate Concurent Resolution No. 514, enacted as ch. 655, Laws 1984, adopted by the Senate on April 26, 1984, and the House of Representatives on April 25, 1984, proposed to repeal Section 210. The proposed repeal was submitted to the electorate on November 6, 1984, but was rejected.

Section 211

Text of Section 211:

Sixteenth Section Lands

(1) The Legislature shall enact such laws as may be necessary to ascertain the true condition of the title to the sixteenth section lands in this state, or lands granted in lieu thereof, in the Choctaw Purchase, and shall provide that the sixteenth section lands reserved for the support of township schools, except as hereinafter provided, shall not be sold nor shall they be leased for a longer term than ten (10) years for lands situated outside municipalities and for lands situated within municipalities for a longer term than ninety-nine (99) years, for a gross sum; provided further, that existing leases of the sixteenth section lands situated in the municipalities of the state may, for a gross sum, be extended for a term of years not exceeding ninety-nine (99) years from the date of such extension, but the Legislature may provide for the lease of sixteenth section lands for a term of years not exceeding twenty-five (25) years for forest and agricultural lands and not exceeding forty (40) years for all other classifications of such lands for a ground rental, payable annually, and in the case of uncleared lands may lease them for such short terms as may be deemed proper in consideration of the improvement thereof, with right thereafter to lease for a term or to hold on payment of ground rent; provided however, that land granted in lieu of sixteenth section lands in this state and situated outside of the county holding or owning same may be sold and the proceeds from such sale may be invested in a manner to be prescribed by the Legislature; but provided further, however, that the Legislature, for industrial development thereon, may authorize the sale, in whole or in part for a gross sum or otherwise, of sixteenth section lands, or lands granted in lieu thereof situated within the county; and the Legislature shall either provide for the purchase of other lands within the county to be held for the benefit of the township schools in lieu of the lands sold or shall provide for the investment of the proceeds of such sale for the benefit of the township schools, or the Legislature may provide for both purchase of other lands to be so held and investment of proceeds for the benefit of the township schools; and the Legislature, for industrial development thereon, may authorize the granting of leases on sixteenth section lands, or lands granted in lieu thereof, in whole or in part, for a gross sum or otherwise, for terms not to exceed ninety-nine (99) years, and the Legislature shall provide for the investment of the proceeds of such leases for the benefit of the township schools. The Legislature may authorize the lease of not more than three (3) acres of sixteenth section lands or lands granted in lieu thereof for a term not exceeding ninety-nine (99) years for a ground rental, payable annually, to any church, having its principal place of worship situated on such lands, which has been in continuous operation at that location for not less than twenty-five (25) years at the time of the lease.

(2) Notwithstanding any limitation on the terms of leases provided in subsection (l) of this section, the Legislature may provide, by general law, for leases on liquid, solid or gaseous minerals with terms coextensive with the operations to produce such minerals.[1]

Amendments

  • The 1961 amendment to Section 211 was proposed by Laws 1961, ch. 10, 1st Extraordinary Session, ch. 10, and upon ratification by the electorate on October 3, 1961, was inserted by proclamation by the Secretary of State on October 16, 1961.
  • The 1986 amendment to Section 211 was proposed by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 537, ch. 643, of the 1986 regular session of the Legislature, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 4, 1986, was inserted by proclamation by the Secretary of State on November 20, 1986.
  • The 1992 amendment of Section 211 was proposed by Laws 1992, ch. 591, Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 552, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 3, 1992, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on December 8, 1992.

Section 212

Text of Section 212:

Interest Rate on Choctaw School Fund and Other Educational Trust Funds

The rate of interest on the fund known as the "Chickasaw School Fund," and other trust funds for educational purposes for which the state is responsible, shall be fixed, and remain as long as said funds are held by the state, at six per centum per annum from and after the close of the fiscal year A.D. 1891; and the distribution of said interest shall be made semi-annually, on the first of May and November of each year.[1]

Section 213

Text of Section 213:

Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges

The state having received and appropriated the land donated to it for the support of agricultural and mechanical colleges by the United States, and having, in furtherance of the beneficent design of congress in granting said land, established the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Mississippi and the Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, it is the duty of the state to sacredly carry out the conditions of the act of congress upon the subject, approved July 2, A.D. 1862, and the legislature shall preserve intact the endowments to and support said colleges.[1]

NOTE: MS Code §37-121-1 changed the name of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College to Alcorn State University.

Section 213-A

Text of Section 213-A:

State Institutions of Higher Learning

The state institutions of higher learning now existing in Mississippi, to-wit: University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, Mississippi University for Women, University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State University, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and any others of like kind which may be hereafter organized or established by the State of Mississippi, shall be under the management and control of a board of trustees to be known as the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, the members thereof to be appointed by the Governor of the state with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Governor shall appoint only men or women as such members as shall be qualified electors residing in the district from which each is appointed, and at least twenty-five (25) years of age, and of the highest order of intelligence, character, learning, and fitness for the performance of such duties, to the end that such board shall perform the high and honorable duties thereof to the greatest advantage of the people of the state of such educational institutions, uninfluenced by any political considerations. There shall be appointed one (1) member of such board from each congressional district of the state as now existing and one (1) member from each Supreme Court district, and two (2) members shall be appointed from the state at large. The term of office of said trustees herein provided for shall begin May 8, 1944; and it shall be the duty of the Governor to make such appointments during the regular session of the Legislature of Mississippi in 1944; and one-third (1/3) of the membership of said board shall be appointed for a period of four (4) years; one-third (1/3) for a period of eight (8) years; and one-third (1/3 for a period of twelve (12) years; and thereafter their successors shall hold office for a period of twelve (12) years. The members of the board of trustees as constituted at the time this amendment shall be inserted in the Constitution as a part thereof shall continue to hold office until their respective terms expire under existing law, after which time the membership of the board shall consist of the number hereinabove provided for. In case of a vacancy on said board by death or resignation of a member, or from any other cause than the expiration of such member's term of office, the board shall elect his successor, who shall hold office until the end of the next session of the Legislature. During such term of the session of the Legislature the Governor shall appoint the successor member of the board from the district from which his predecessor was appointed, to hold office until the end of the period for which such original trustee was appointed, to the end that one-third (1/3) of such trustees' terms will expire each four (4) years.

The Legislature shall provide by law for the appointment of a trustee for the La Bauve Fund at the University of Mississippi and for the perpetuation of such fund.

Such board shall have the power and authority to elect the heads of the various institutions of higher learning, and contract with all deans, professors and other members of the teaching staff, and all administrative employees of said institutions for a term not exceeding four (4) years; but said board shall have the power and authority to terminate any such contract at any time for malfeasance, inefficiency or contumacious conduct, but never for political reasons.

Nothing herein contained shall in any way limit or take away the power the Legislature had and possessed, if any, at the time of the adoption of this amendment, to consolidate, abolish or change the status of any of the above named institutions.[1]

NOTE: The 1944 amendment of this section was duly inserted by the Legislature in House Concurrent Resolution No. 13, Laws 1944, ch. 344.

Amendments

  • The 1987 amendment of Section 213-A was proposed by Laws 1987, ch. 673. House Concurrent Resolution No. 19, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 3, 1987, was inserted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on December 4, 1987.

MS Code §37-117-1 changed the name of Mississippi State College for Women to Mississippi University for Women; MS Code §37-121-1 changed the name of Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College to Alcorn State University; MS Code §37-123-1 changed the name of Delta State College to Delta State University.

Section 213-B

Text of Section 213-B:

Repealed.[1]

Amendments

  • Former Section 213-B provided that by vote of the Legislature public schools of the state could be abolished; the counties and school districts could be authorized to abolish their public schools; the legislature could dispose of school buildings, land and property by lease, sale or otherwise; and, authorized the legislature and governmental subdivisions and districts to appropriate funds to aid educable children in the state to secure an education.
  • The repeal of Section 213-B was proposed by Laws 1987, ch. 671, House Concurrent Resolution No. 9, and upon ratification by the electorate on November 3, 1987, was deleted by proclamation of the Secretary of State on December 4, 1987.

See also

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