Teach Plus Mississippi Encouraged by Weighted Student Funding Bill

Teach Plus Mississippi Encouraged by Weighted Student Funding Bill

Jackson, Mississippi, February 26, 2024—Teach Plus Mississippi today issued the following statement on the introduction of HB 1453, the “Investing in the Needs of Students to Prioritize, Impact and Reform Education (INSPIRE) Act of 2024.” The proposed formula in the legislation is based on the cost of educating an individual student and includes additional funding percentages (“weights”) for special student populations, such as low-income, English language learners, special education students, and students in career-technical education programs.

Teach Plus Mississippi is encouraged that our state legislature is taking steps to improve our education funding by introducing the INSPIRE Act in the House this week. For far too long, Mississippi has been at an impasse when it comes to consistently funding our public schools while also making the changes necessary to have a formula that meets the needs of our students. This bill is an important step in the right direction. If passed, this legislation would provide substantial increases for students who need additional support and afford public school leaders greater flexibility in allocating these resources to meet their students’ needs.

Teach Plus teacher leaders have examined national school funding research and best practices from other states. As a result of this work, we are advocating for a formula that’s weighted to meet the unique needs of our students, adequately and equitably funds our schools, fairly allocates state dollars, and provides transparent funding information to the general public. The fundamentals of the INSPIRE Act are closely aligned with these core principles,” said Sanford Johnson, Teach Plus Mississippi Executive Director.

“I am excited to see that the Legislature is taking school funding seriously and is looking at neighboring states that have had success with a more student-driven model. As a special education teacher, I know that my students need additional support in order to be successful and I am pleased to see this acknowledged,” said Jessica Dalton, a Teach Plus Policy Fellow and K-3 special education teacher at Magnolia Park Elementary School in Ocean Springs.

“More funding for districts like Holmes County Consolidated is not just about money; it’s about investing in the promise and potential of every child, ensuring that they have the resources, support, and opportunities they need to succeed, regardless of their background or zip code,” said Kristin Scott, a Teach Plus Senior Policy Fellow and Interventionist at Holmes Central High School in Lexington.

As policymakers deliberate HB 1453 and other school funding legislation, Teach Plus Mississippi looks forward to continuing to examine the proposed policy changes and recommend improvements to ensure adequate and equitable funding for all our students.

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. In pursuing this mission, Teach Plus is guided by the Student Opportunity Mandate​: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org/ms


Contact: Anya Grottel-Brown, agrottelbrown@teachplus.org, 917-902-5902