In 2015, Mississippi enacted the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Program, creating education savings accounts for parents of special-needs students. The ESA program allows these parents to use a percentage of the money allotted for their children at traditional public schools on education alternatives instead.
Mississippi took a step in the right direction when, at the beginning of the month, the Mississippi Department of Human Services announced it would implement work requirements for single people between the ages of 18 and 49 who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called food stamps. Although this is a positive development, there is still much that could be done to better help the State of Mississippi move people in poverty from government dependency to self-sufficiency.
Mississippi is in a precarious position regarding the Common Core national academic standards. Amid a large grassroots movement against the K–12 math and English standards, legislators opted to review the standards rather than simply repealing and replacing them.
Amid public outcry, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) have changed their minds about Common Core. Both have spoken out in support of ceasing the use of Common Core State Standards despite that K–12 math and English standards have already been slowly rolled out and partially adopted
With a surprisingly wide margin of victory, Congressman James Lankford won the Oklahoma Republican U.S. Senate primary, defeating former Speaker of the State House of Representatives T.W. Shannon by 23 points and avoiding a runoff election. Lankford now becomes the prohibitive favorite to replace outgoing Senator Tom Coburn, who is retiring with two years remaining in his current term.
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