Pontotoc County, Miss. (Pontotoc Progress) – Mississippi Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (above, sixth from left) visited South Pontotoc Elementary School Monday afternoon (April 24) and announced the $100-million in additional funding for Mississippi schools, which was signed into law last Friday.
Hosemann also led a panel discussion about education with 11 South Pontotoc teachers and principals.
“All of our school districts have needs and I’m here today to ask you what the priorities are that you need, looking to the future,” Hosemann said. “I want to hear about the needs and problems you face every day and what we need to do to make it better.”
Topics and needs discussed included more resources for digital and print learning materials, input options to better motivate students to learn and pursue real life careers, and hiring more teachers assistants and class room counselors to help teachers and students deal with increasing emotional and mental behavioral problems that hinder classroom learning.
The $100-million in increased general funding will be distributed based on average daily enrollment.
Pontotoc County Superintendent of Education Dr. Brock Puckett said the county school system will receive approximately $800,000 from the education funding increase.
Other new legislation that was passed increases funding for the early learning collaboratives to $2,500 per full day student (increased from $1,250) and to $1,250 per half-day students (from $1,075); $9-million provided to community colleges and institutions of higher learning tot pay for dual enrollment and dual credit courses for 11th and 12th graders; and another bill formalizes the career coaching program through Accelerate Mississippi which helps steer high school students to high-demand, high-wage jobs.
The $12-million appropriation (up $8-million from last year) will add another 50 career coaches, which means the program will be in about 90 districts.
South Pontotoc educators who visited with Lt. Governor Hosemann included Dr. Brock Puckett, Laura Howard, Heather Corder, Randy Tutor, school board member Danny Robbins, Cassandra Brentner, Martin Rodgers, Dr. Brant Puckett, Autumn Ritchie, Emily Speck, Mark Vandiver, Jimmy Flake, and Mason Luther.