Lottery announced for scholarships for students with disabilities

The Mississippi Department of Education is holding a lottery on July 14 to award 58 Education Scholarship Accounts for the upcoming school year. The Education Scholarship Accounts provide funds to parents of students with disabilities who want to remove their child from a public school and seek educational services elsewhere. Recipients of the scholarship are eligible to be reimbursed up to $6,494 in costs next year. The Legislature passed the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act in 2015. This school year, the law allows for up to 435 ESA accounts.

More pre-K students ready for kindergarten, test results show

Spring test results show the majority of pre-kindergarten students participating in the state’s early learning collaboratives scored at or above the target score for exiting pre-K. Nearly 78 percent of students in the state’s 10 early learning collaboratives scored at or above the target score, a 6.5 percent increase from last year’s test results. State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright, who has long pushed for expanding early childhood education across the state, said the test results are evidence of the importance of pre-K. “Mississippi’s Early Learning Collaboratives continue to show the impact of high-quality early childhood education and the powerful effect it has on student achievement,” Wright said. “I am proud of the work of all of the teachers, administrators and pre-K students.

State likely to release Aberdeen schools back to local control

The State Board of Education on Friday will decide whether to turn the Aberdeen School District back over to the local community. Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency in the school district in April of 2012 due to serious leadership, management and instructional concerns, along with serious violations of accreditation standards, board policy and state laws. The board will vote whether to approve a resolution to request that Bryant lift the state of emergency. “In June of 2016, five individuals were appointed to form the new Board of the Aberdeen School District and they have worked with the Conservator during the past year to prepare them for assuming full responsibility of the district,” Board Chair Rosemary Aultman wrote in a draft letter to Bryant asking him to lift the state of emergency. “The board members have since drawn lots …