2005 Regular Session
By: Representative Pierce
AN ACT TO CREATE A COMMISSION TO STUDY AND REPORT ON ENHANCED EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES AND PROGRAMS TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND EFFECTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF MISSISSIPPI; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is created a commission to study and report on enhanced educational practices and programs to improve student achievement and effective learning environments in the public schools of Mississippi. The commission's study and report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Restructuring the high school curriculum with emphasis on enhanced curriculum, graduation requirements and promotion of dual enrollment and dual credit for college bound students;
(b) Improving literacy in kindergarten through Grade 8 through the following:
(i) Providing children in kindergarten through Grade 3 with skills needed to read proficiently and on grade level by the end of the Grade 3;
(ii) Enhancing literacy in all subject matters such as math, music, art and physical education; and
(iii) Requiring uninterrupted ninety (90) minute daily blocks for reading and literacy in kindergarten through Grade 4;
(iv) Incorporating character education in all kindergarten through Grade 8 schools;
(v) Providing after school tutoring programs with qualified tutors; and
(vi) Placing an emphasis on good attendance habits as a means of drop out prevention;
(c) Establishing mentoring programs for new teachers;
(d) Improving professional development, especially in Level 1 and Level 2 schools to improve those areas of weakness and fostering partnerships between schools, community colleges and universities for the delivery of professional development;
(e) Developing a professional development video for distribution to all school districts;
(f) Home rule and administrative efficiencies.
The commission shall make a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by November 1, 2005, including any recommended legislation;
(g) Early childhood education; and
(h) Alternative school programs and education.
(2) The commission shall be composed of the following seventeen (17) members:
(a) The State Superintendent of Public Education, or his designee;
(b) A representative from the Institutions of Higher Learning, to be appointed by the Commissioner;
(c) A representative from the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, to be appointed by the Chairman of the Board;
(d) Two (2) superintendents, one (1) to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(e) Two (2) elementary school principals, one (1) to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(f) Two (2) high school principals, one (1) to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(g) Two (2) teachers, one (1) to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(h) Two (2) school business administrators, one (1) to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(i) Two (2) school curriculum advisors/administrators, one (1) to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and one (1) to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(j) Two (2) persons from the Public Education Forum of the Mississippi Economic Council to be appointed by the Governor.
The Chairman of the House Education Committee and the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee shall serve as ex-officio members of the commission.
(3) Appointments shall be made within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this act. The commission shall hold its first meeting before August 1, 2005. At the first meeting, the members of the commission shall elect a chairperson for the commission.
(4) Members of the commission may not be compensated for the performance of their duties. Any incidental costs associated with conducting the study shall be paid by the State Department of Education.
(5) To effectuate the purposes of this section, any department, division, board, bureau, commission or agency of the state or of any political subdivision thereof shall, at the request of the chairperson of the commission, provide to the commission such facilities, assistance and data as will enable the commission to properly carry out its duties.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.