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Gov. Reeves calls for 11 more magnet schools to be created; House speaker agrees

During his State of the State address earlier this week, Gov. Tate Reeves called for the expansion of an education model he believes would greatly benefit both students and the future of Mississippi’s workforce.

Citing success of the Mississippi School for Math and Science located on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women, the Republican governor proposed for 11 additional math and engineering magnet schools to be implemented across the state. He added that eight of the schools could exist to educate kindergarten through eighth grade students. The other three could be for high schoolers.

The idea, which comes as lawmakers debate how to properly fund K-12 public schools, is to not only have students ready to compete in the labor field upon graduation but also to provide an avenue for pupils in failing school districts to have opportunities elsewhere.

“We must be innovative. We must be open to new and different models. We should fund students, not systems. We should trust our parents, not bureaucrats, and we should embrace education freedom,” Reeves said. “Imagine hundreds of talented kids from all backgrounds learning the skills they need to be successful as engineers, computer scientists, and technicians at major tech companies.”

Following the State of the State, House Speaker Jason White said the proposal from Reeves coincides with legislation introduced by Rep. Rob Roberson, chair of the education committee. The first-year speaker vouches that adding magnet schools to existing college campuses could be beneficial to both parties amid a fear of future enrollment drops on the postsecondary level.

“[Reeves] talked about creating some magnet schools, which dovetails very well with our chairman of education’s bill wanting to create one at Delta State University on the campus to give folks a chance, in failing school districts, to just go to that campus instead,” White said. “We can do that just as the governor wants to do it. We’re excited to get with his people and figure out exactly what they envision.”

Under House Bill 1447, the state would create a rural education school program in partnership with Delta State to serve

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