Bill Would Raise Accountability for High Schools

By: Mike McDaniel Email
By: Mike McDaniel Email

Some Mississippi lawmakers are looking to hold high schools more accountable when is comes to preparing graduates for college.

The bill currently moving through the legislature is only four pages long, but would shift some big financial responsibilities. Its goal is to make sure high school graduates are ready for college academics.

Right now state community colleges and the Institutions of Higher Learning spend about $37 million a year for remedial courses.

"That is unacceptable," said Sen. Nancy Collins of Tupelo, author of the bill.

The measure would pass the cost of any remedial courses for college freshmen back to the high school from which they came. By passing the cost to the high schools, Collins says it'll put more accountability on schools.

"High school students, when they get a diploma, and when they've had a track to go to college, they ought to be able to go to college," Collins said. "They should not have remediation."

As Gov. Phil Bryant pushes education reform in the state, with legislation for charter schools and teacher merit pay, he says the K-12 system needs to make sure students are ready for the next level before handing out a diploma.

"There is a responsibility that the high schools have when the graduate a child to say that child should be able to read at a community college or IHL level," said Bryant. "So there should be some accountability."

As the bill stands now, if passed, it would be in place for the next academic year beginning in August 2013.

"When a student is not achieving and when we has told a counselor that he is on a track to go to college then that school needs to make sure he can go to college and he can achieve in college," said Collins.

The bill has now been referred to the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee, as well as the Appropriations Committee.


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