State delays approval of Jackson Public Schools plan

The Jackson Public School District has some work to do before the state can approve its corrective action plan, a necessary step in the district’s audit process. At a State Board of Education meeting Thursday, members decided to delay approval of some districts’ corrective action plans, or CAPs because they needed more work. Three districts — JPS, Natchez-Adams and Hazlehurst — will continue to work on their plans with the help of the Mississippi Department of Education. They will be presented for approval in March. Both Jackson and state education officials said the work will be a collaborative effort.

Four Mississippi historic properties added to National Register

A historic African American library, a Jewish synagogue and two Jackson elementary schools have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to a press release from the Mississippi Department of Archives & History. The United States Department of the Interior approved the addition of Myrtle Hall Branch Library for Negroes, Coahoma County; Temple B’nai Israel, Forrest County; Hattie Casey Elementary School, Hinds County; and Pearl Spann Elementary School, Hinds County. Read more about these properties here.

Poll finds Southern voters want more education spending

The majority of voters in 12 Southern states said they see differences in the quality of education across the South and said states need to adjust funding to improve outcomes in these states, according to the results of a newly-released poll. Read the full Hechinger Report, featuring results of the poll, here. Read Mississippi Today’s coverage on where Mississippi lawmakers stand on funding education.

Water woes force JPS to extend school day

Students in the Jackson Public Schools who celebrated their surprise extended winter break because of city-wide water issues will be upset to learn the district is extending its school day this spring. The Jackson Public School District missed seven school days this year due to city-wide problems with water pressure and winter weather. To make up for it, students will spend additional time in the classroom. The Board of Trustees approved a make-up plan Tuesday night. All schools will extend the school day by one hour from Feb.

Education officials host lottery for unused scholarship accounts

The Mississippi Department of Education plans to dole out 90 unused Education Scholarship Accounts next week for public school parents to enroll their children in private school or other services. The state will host a lottery on Feb. 8 to redistribute unused accounts for the current school year. Known informally as ESA accounts, they have been available to families since 2015 to provide up to $6,500 in state funds per year for parents of public school students with special needs. The funds are used for private school tuition or other expenses such as tutoring, transportation to and from school, and curriculum, among others.

Reeves easily tops campaign fundraising

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is ready for his next political run if campaign money in hand means anything. Mississippi’s statewide elected officials and legislators filed campaign finance annual reports this week. Click here to access the search function for full reports. Here are summaries for statewide officials:

• Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who is term limited, transferred his campaign cash last year to a political action committee called Imagine Mississippi PAC. In the annual report, Bryant’s PAC reported $220,000 in spending in 2017, including donations to several Republican politicians and political candidates.

Marty Stuart building museum for his 20,000 country artifacts

Handwritten lyrics from Hank Williams, a black suit worn by Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline’s boots are among country musician Marty Stuart’s collection of 20,000 artifacts. Stuart says he’s planning to build a museum to exhibit his collection and a performance hall in his Mississippi hometown. Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music will be in Philadelphia, about 80 miles northeast of Jackson. Find out more about Stuart’s plans here.

King of international art exhibitions sets sights on Vicksburg

Jack Kyle, who organized four highly successful international art exhibitions in Jackson — Palaces of St. Petersburg: Russian Imperial Style; Splendors of Versailles; The Majesty of Spain: Royal Collections from the Museo del Prado & Patrimonio Nacional; and The Glory of Baroque Dresden — has a plan for a permanent museum focusing on international art in downtown Vicksburg. The four international exhibitions in Jackson, opening between 1996 and 2004, attracted an estimated 1.3 million visitors and generated nearly $175 million in economic impact. You can read The Vicksburg Post’s full report here.