Legislative Update | Week of March 2-6

COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: HB 1139 | Today, HB 1139 passed out of the House Education Committee! It heads to the full House from here. This bill seeks to amend the Districts of Innovation legislation and paves the way for Mississippi public schools to become community schools.

What is a community school? A community school is at the center of the community—open all day, every day, to everyone—that brings together academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement under one roof, leading to improved learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.

Community schools are more than just wraparound services provided to individual students in need. Rather, community schools use strategic, results-focused partnerships to improve a wide range of outcomes.

Learn more about this innovative education model from this short video!

TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOLS: HB 770 | HB 770 also passed out of the House Education Committee earlier today and will head to the full House from here. This bill seeks to standardize professional CEUs around trauma-informed practices, create a policy working group intended to support school districts as they develop community-specific best practices around student mental health, and equip educators and districts with the tools they need to identify ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and manage students impacted by trauma in the classroom and beyond.

Learn more about trauma-informed schools here.

EXPANSION OF TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: HB 994, SB 2511 | HB 994 and SB 2511 seek to adapt teacher education program entry requirements and expand access to students enrolled in Mississippi’s four-year colleges and universities. With a certified teacher shortage crisis, it is imperative that we ensure Mississippi students with a desire to teach are provided with that opportunity.

SB 2511 passed out of the Education Committee on February 19 and HB 994 passed out of committee last week. These bills will next head to the full House and Senate.