I have compiled some data about several legislative “reforms” taking place in Mississippi. Here are some points the public should consider while being told by the Legislature how to think, how to act and how to feel about the full funding of our children’s public education.
The first legislative reform is the Special Needs Act. Mississippi has 54,000 special education students. Five-undred $6,500 vouchers were available in the first year to any child who met the qualifications of the reform. Of the 500 vouchers available, only 261 were applied for, which equals 52.2 percent of 500. Of those applied for, only 178 qualified for the vouchers, which is 35.6 percent of the 500. If we used this number as an average accepted per year until we reach full SPED reform, it would take 303 years to fully “reform” special education in Mississippi using this method. In the first year of this law, 1/3 of 1 percent of the total SPED population in Mississippi will have been served.