Public education in Mississippi
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- 1 State agencies
- 2 Regional comparison
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Academic performance
- 5 Educational choice options
- 6 Education funding and expenditures
- 7 Organizations
- 8 Taxpayer-funded lobbying
- 9 Transparency
- 10 Studies and reports
- 11 School districts
- 12 Education ballot measures
- 13 Recent news
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
List of school districts in Mississippi
Public education in Mississippi
School board elections portal
|“||To provide leadership through the development of policy and accountability systems so that all students are prepared to compete in the global community.||”|
The Mississippi Department of Education is responsible for "implementing state and federal education laws, disbursing state and federal funds, holding schools and districts accountable for performance and licensing all educators."
- One member from the state's Northern Supreme Court District
- One member from the state's Central Supreme Court District
- One member from the state's Southern Supreme Court District
- One member who is a school administrator
- One member is a public school teacher
Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Mississippi State Board of Education adopted the standards on June 28, 2010. Full implementation was scheduled to be achieved in the 2013-2014 academic year.
- See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states
- See also: Education spending per pupil in all 50 states
The following chart shows how Mississippi compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.
|State||Schools||Districts||Students||Teachers||Teacher/pupil ratio||Administrator/pupil ratio||Per pupil spending|
| Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.|
National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Mississippi as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.
|Demographic information for Mississippi's K-12 public school system|
|Ethnicity||Students||State Percentage||United States Percentage**|
|Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. students||162||0.03%||0.42%|
|Two or more||3,043||0.62%||2.54%|
|**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.|
Enrollments by region type
A majority of students in Mississippi attend rural schools. Approximately 81 percent of the state's students attend rural or town schools, compared to approximately 19 percent who attend city or suburban schools.
|Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)|
|State||City schools||Suburban schools||Town schools||Rural schools|
|Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD) (timed out)|
- See also: NAEP scores by state
The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana), Mississippi has the smallest share of fourth and eighth grade students who scored at or above proficient in reading and math.
|Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013|
|Math - Grade 4||Math - Grade 8||Reading - Grade 4||Reading - Grade 8|
|Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014|
|NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013|
Graduation, ACT and SAT scores
|Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*|
|State||Graduation rate, 2012||Average ACT Composite, 2012||Average SAT Composite, 2013|
|Percent||Quintile ranking**||Score||Participation rate||Score||Participation rate|
| *Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).|
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express
- See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states
The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Mississippi was lower than the national average at 3.2 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.2 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.
Educational choice options
- See also: School choice in Mississippi
School choice options in Mississippi include: charter schools, school vouchers, an inter-district open enrollment policy and online learning programs. In addition, about 9.26 percent of school age children in the state attended private schools in the 2011-12 academic year, and an estimated 2.67 percent were homeschooled in 2012-13.
Education funding and expenditures
- See also: Mississippi state budget and finances
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 16.9 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. As a share of the budget, this is down 3.40 percentage points, or 16.7 percent, from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 20.3 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.
|Comparison of financial figures for school systems|
|State||Percent of budget (2012)||Per pupil spending (2011)||Revenue sources (2011)|
|Percent federal funds||Percent state funds||Percent local funds|
| Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures |
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Mississippi totaled approximately $4.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Mississippi and surrounding states.
|Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Federal revenue||State revenue||Local revenue||Total revenue|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics|
|Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Mississippi totaled approximately $4.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Mississippi and surrounding states.
|Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)|
|Current expenditures**||Capital outlay||Other***||Total expenditures|
| **Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.|
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
|Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)|
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Mississippi, the average salary decreased by 3.5 percent.
|Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)|
|**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."|
In 2012 the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Mississippi ranked 46th overall, or "weakest," which was in the fifth of five tiers.
The main union related to the Mississippi school system is the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE). According to reports, MAE had a total revenue of $1,639,194 during the 2003 tax period. Another statewide union is AFT Mississippi. A local school union in Mississippi is AFT Biloxi, which had in 2003 total revenues of $343,958.
- See also: Mississippi government sector lobbying
The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Mississippi School Boards Association.
The Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act (2008) mandated the creation of a spending transparency website, which can be accessed here. The state has also launched the Management and Reporting System. This site provides information pertaining to the state budget, state property, revenues, vendors, and state employees.
Studies and reports
Quality Counts 2014
- See also: Quality Counts 2014 Report
Education Week, a publication that reports on many education issues throughout the country, began using an evaluation system in 1997 to grade each state on various elements of education performance. This system, called Quality Counts, uses official data on performance from each state to generate a report card for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report card in 2014 uses six different categories:
- Chance for success
- K-12 achievement
- Standards, assessments and accountability
- The teaching profession
- School finance
- Transitions and Alignment
Each of these six categories had a number of other elements that received individual scores. Those scores were then averaged and used to determine the final score in each category. Every state received two types of scores for each of the six major categories: A numerical score out of 100 and a letter grade based on that score. Education Week used the score for the first category, "chance for success," as the value for ranking each state and the District of Columbia. The average grade received in the entire country was 77.3, or a C+ average. The country's highest average score was in the category of "standards, assessments and accountability" at 85.3, or a B average. The lowest average score was in "K-12 achievement", at 70.2, or a C- average.
Mississippi received a score of 68.9, or a D+ average in the "chance for success" category. This was below the national average. The state's highest score was in "standards, assessments and accountability" at 92.8, or an A average. The lowest score was in school finance" at 57.1, or an F average. Mississippi had the lowest score in the "K-12 achievement" category in the country. The chart below displays the scores of Mississippi and its surrounding states.
Note: Click on a column heading to sort the data.
|Public education report cards, 2014|
|State||Chance for success||K-12 achievement||Standards, assessments and accountability||The teaching profession||School finance||Transitions and Alignment|
|Mississippi||68.9 (D+)||57.1 (F)||92.8 (A)||66.5 (D)||64.9 (D)||75.0 (C)|
|Alabama||72.0 (C-)||62.2 (D-)||92.2 (A-)||74.8 (C)||71.1 (C-)||85.7 (B)|
|Arkansas||71.8 (C-)||66.7 (D+)||94.4 (A)||88.0 (B+)||74.1 (C)||96.4 (A)|
|Louisiana||69.9 (C-)||59.8 (D-)||97.2 (A)||79.6 (B-)||74.9 (C)||92.9 (A)|
|United States Average||77.3 (C+)||70.2 (C-)||85.3 (B)||72.5 (C)||75.5 (C)||81.1 (B-)|
| Source: Education Week, "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 18, 2015|
A full discussion of how these numbers were generated can be found here.
State Budget Solutions education study
State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states that spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.
- See also: School board elections portal
- Municipal separate districts include the area of a municipality and possibly added territory beyond that municipality. Municipal separate districts have not been authorized since 1987, but those districts that existed before that time may still operate unless abolished by the county board of education or the district's own board of education, if petitioned to do so by residents.
- Special municipal separate districts are municipal separate districts in which the added territory contains at least a quarter of the district's students.
- County districts include all of the territory in a county, except for any territory possessed by a municipal separate district.
- Consolidated districts include portions of a county that are not possessed by either a county school district or a municipal separate district.
- Consolidated line districts are similar to consolidated districts but possess territory in multiple counties.
- See also: List of school districts in Mississippi
|Student enrollment||MCT2 Grade 8 scores|
|1.) DeSoto County||1.) Long Beach|
|2.) Jackson||2.) Enterprise|
|3.) Rankin County||3.) Pass Christian|
|4.) Harrison County||4.) Pontotoc City|
|5.) Madison County||5.) Ocean Springs|
|6.) Jackson County||6.) Petal|
|7.) Lamar County||7.) Madison County|
|8.) Vicksburg-Warren||8.) Tishomingo County|
|9.) Jones County||9.) Booneville|
|10.) Tupelo||10.) Union|
School board composition
Mississippi school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members for municipal separate school districts are appointed and confirmed by the local mayor, city council or board of aldermen. Mississippi school board elections typically follow the district method. In district elections, only voters residing in a specific geographic area within the school district may vote on certain candidates, who must also reside in that specific geographic area.
Most school boards consist of five members, although there are a few exceptions with six or seven members. School board members serve five-year terms, except for county school districts and two special municipal school districts whose board members serve six-year terms.
Mississippi does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. State Senator Sollie Norwood (D) introduced SB 2635 on January 20, 2014, which would have created term limits for all municipal separate school districts, but the bill died in committee on February 4, 2014.
Jackson County School District served 9,518 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Click on the district name for more information on the district and its school board elections.
|2015 Mississippi School Board Elections|
|District||Date||Seats up for election||Total board seats||Student enrollment|
|Jackson County School District||11/3/2015||1||5||9,518|
Path to the ballot
To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Mississippi, a person must be:
- A resident of and registered voter in the school district
- The holder of either a high school diploma or its equivalent
A person must not be:
- An employee of the school district
- Married to an employee of the school district
The process of running for office as a school board candidate begins with filing a "qualifying statement of intent" with the county election commission. The number of petition signatures required and the filing deadlines vary according to the type of school district:
- Candidates in municipal separate districts must include a minimum of 25 petition signatures and it must be filed at least 60 days prior to the election.
- Candidates in special municipal separate districts in Louisville, Natchez-Adams, Grenada and Tishomingo must include a minimum of 150 petition signatures and it must be filed between 90 and 30 days prior to the election.
- Candidates in the Vicksburg-Warren special municipal separate district must include a minimum of 150 petition signatures and it must be filed between 90 and 60 days prior to the election.
- Candidates in county districts must include a minimum of 50 petition signatures and it must be filed between 90 and 60 days prior to the election. If there are fewer than 100 qualified electors in a district, candidate petitions must only be signed by a minimum of 20 percent of residents.
- Candidates in consolidated and consolidated line districts must include a minimum of 50 petition signatures and it must be filed between 90 and 60 days prior to the election. If there are fewer than 100 qualified electors in a district, candidate petitions must only be signed by a minimum of 20 percent of residents.
School board election dates also vary according to the type of school district:
- Municipal separate districts hold elections on the first Saturday of March.
- Two special municipal separate districts hold elections on the first Saturday of March, but two other districts hold their elections during the November general election. In the fifth special municipal separate district, board members are appointed on or before March 1 each year.
- County districts hold elections during the November general election.
- Consolidated and consolidated line districts hold elections during the November general election.
Mississippi requires all school board candidates to file a statement of economic interest with the Mississippi Ethics Commission within 15 days after qualifying as a candidate. All candidates must file periodic, pre-election and annual campaign finance reports with the municipal clerk. If a candidate receives a contribution of more than $200 between 10 days and 48 hours preceding the election, that candidate must file a "48 hour report" with the municipal clerk.
Education ballot measures
Ballotpedia has tracked the following statewide ballot measures relating to education.
- Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, Amendment 1 (2003)
- Mississippi Public School Support Amendments, Initiative 42 and Alternative 42 (2015)
- Mississippi Voucher System Amendment, Initiative 45 (2016)
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Mississippi + Education "
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Mississippi state budget and finances
- Mississippi Department of Education
- List of school districts in Mississippi
- School choice in Mississippi
- Charter schools in Mississippi
- Education Policy in the U.S.
- Mississippi Department of Education
- Mississippi State Superintendent of Education
- Mississippi State Board of Education
- National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
- ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
- United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
- United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
- Mississippi Department of Education, "State Board of Education: Vision, Mission, Goals," accessed May 21, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Mississippi Department of Education, "About MDE," accessed May 21, 2014
- Mississippi Department of Education, "State Superintendent of Education," accessed May 21, 2014
- Mississippi Department of Education, "Mississippi Board of Education," accessed May 21, 2014
- Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State,” accessed June 12, 2014
- Mississippi Department of Education, "Common Core State Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
- United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
- ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
- Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014 (timed out)
- Maciver Institute, "REPORT: How much are teachers really paid?," accessed October 29, 2014
- United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
- Thomas E Fordham Institute, " How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
- Mississippi Association of Educators, "Main Page," accessed May 5, 2010
- Center for Union Facts, "Mississippi teachers unions," accessed May 5, 2010
- National Taxpayers Union, "Nation's Largest Taxpayer Group Applauds Mississippi for Passing Spending Transparency Legislation," April 17, 2008
- Education Week "Quality Counts 2014 report cards," accessed February 19, 2015
- United States Census Bureau, "Mississippi," accessed July 9, 2014
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- Mississippi Department of Education, "2012 Student Assessment Information," accessed August 6, 2013
- Mississippi School Boards Association, "So You Want To Be A School Board Member: A Guide for Candidates," accessed July 9, 2014
- Mississippi Legislature, "Senate Bill 2635," accessed July 9, 2014
- Secretary of State, "2013 Candidate Qualifying Guide," accessed July 10, 2014
- Secretary of State, "2014 Mississippi Elections Candidate Qualifying Guide," accessed July 10, 2014
- Secretary of State, "2014 Campaign Finance Guide," accessed July 10, 2014
State of Mississippi
|State executive officers||
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