1998 Regular Session
To: Rules; Education
By: Senator(s) Farris, Gollott, Furniss, Burton, Browning, Smith, Carlton, Mettetal, Frazier, Huggins, Jackson, Rayborn
Senate Concurrent Resolution 542
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO ENCOURAGE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO TAKE CERTAIN ACTIONS TO STUDY AND ULTIMATELY INTERVENE MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH SCHOOL DROPOUTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
WHEREAS, dropout rates in the South are lower now than in the mid-1980's, but progress on reducing the rate by one-half has slowed over the last three years; and
WHEREAS, the majority of students who drop out of school each year in U.S. are white and live in middle- and high-income families; and
WHEREAS, dropout rates for black and Hispanic students are still higher than those for white students, although the gap is not as wide as in the early 1980's; and
WHEREAS, dropout rates for males and females are not significantly different at the national level or in Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, students who repeat one or more grades are more likely to drop out than those who do not; and
WHEREAS, three out of four -- 75.1% -- high school seniors graduated from Mississippi's public schools in 1995; and
WHEREAS, nine percent of Mississippi teens dropped out of school in 1993, which was also the national average for 1993; and
WHEREAS, the average total number of dropouts from Mississippi public schools over the last five school years was 10,894; and
WHEREAS, the total number of dropouts from Mississippi public schools over the last five school years was 54,474; and
WHEREAS, the leading reason for dropping out of Mississippi public schools during 1996-1997 school year was "Entered a GED/non educational program" (2,081 or approximately 20%); and
WHEREAS, the second leading reason for dropping out of Mississippi public schools during 1996-1997 school year was "Dislike of school experience" (2,011 or approximately 20%):
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MISSISSIPPI STATE SENATE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby encourage the State Department of Education to accomplish the following objectives:
1. Working in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, to assess students who drop out of school for reading/writing and other basic skills deficits by means of complete exit interviews, and also for the purpose of eventually intervening with the children of the dropouts so identified.
2. Study and make a report to the Legislature on implementation of a statewide alternative education program designed to intervene with enrolled chronically disobedient students and dropouts from Mississippi public schools and prepare them to take and pass the GED and, in appropriate cases, develop marketable skills.
3. Study the continuing challenge of dropouts from Mississippi public schools and make recommendations as necessary to Mississippi school districts and the Legislature relating to more effective means of intervention and prevention.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution shall be delivered to the State Superintendent of Education and the State Board of Education.