Lt. governor calls for more education investment

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  POPLARVILLE – Education makes up a third of the components required to improve Mississippi’s future, Lt. Gov Tate Reeves said Monday at Pearl River Community College.
  Fiscal responsibility, a tax code that encourages economic development and improving educational attainment levels are key to his first priority – bringing jobs to Mississippi, he said.
  Reeves spoke during PRCC’s annual professional development session for faculty and staff before the start of the fall semester.
  “We must be willing to invest in education at all levels,” he said.
  Reeves listed several benchmarks he said show Mississippi is moving in the right direction:
  •$400 million more was appropriated for public education this year than the year before Reeves took office in 2012.
  •Community college funding in fiscal year 2016 showed a $36 million increase over FY 2012.
 • The legislature has consolidated 13 school districts.
  “We need to spend more money in the classroom instead of in the district offices,” Reeves said.
  • Mississippi’s graduation rate has increased almost 10 percent in the past 10 years.
  • The state was the only one in the country to record significant improvement in fourth grade reading and math scores.
  “Really, really good things are happening,” Reeves said. “We ought to celebrate. We ought to talk about it. The people who deserve the credit are the teachers, the administrators, the parents and the kids. Once expectations were raised, they met them.”
  Community colleges, along with the K-12 and higher education systems, hold the keys to the state’s future, he said.
  “If you’re focused on what’s best for the students, good things will occur,” Reeves said.
  Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, spoke from the perspective of a first-generation college student.
  “I came to realize the impact education has, not only on myself, but on others,” she said. “I have made a career of it. I know education works. Without education, people have a hard time.”
  Fall classes at PRCC’s three campuses begin Monday, Aug. 15.


Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves addresses the faculty and staff at Pearl River Community College on Monday, Aug. 8.
PRCC Public Relations photo


Dr. Andrea Mayfield, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Board, talks on Monday, Aug. 8, to Pearl River Community College faculty and staff.
PRCC Public Relations photo