School advocate to lead Tupelo discussions

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – As Mississippi’s Legislature launches a session expected to be dominated by education issues, school reform will be the subject of a discussion in Tupelo next week.
Nancy Loome, who leads one of Mississippi’s largest public school advocacy groups, will lead both discussions on Tuesday, Jan. 15. That includes a lunch bunch at 11:45 a.m. and a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Parish Hall of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, across from the Lee County Library at 608 West Jefferson Street in Tupelo. They are sponsored by Parents for Public Schools and the North Mississippi Education Consortium.
“We’ll be talking about school reform and what initiatives have worked in other states and in other countries to improve student achievement,” said Loome, the executive director of The Parents’ Campaign.
Loome also will answer questions about the upcoming legislative session and the proposals and initiatives being studied by the state’s lawmakers, such as charter schools, a third-grade reading program and scholarships to allow low-income students to attend private schools.
Both discussions will last about an hour and will be similar, but questions will dictate the nature of each. There will be more time for questions at the evening event, Loome said.
“These discussions take on a life of their own,” she said.
Organizers urge anyone interested in public education – from parents to teachers to community members – to attend.
“People need to be well informed,” said Cecil Weeks, the director of the North Mississippi Education Consortium. “We are not taking a position to support any particular piece of legislation or any particular thought. People can have an opportunity to ask questions, get information and go away better informed than when they came.”
Anyone interested in reserving a free lunch for the event should call (662) 372-0371. Reservations are not required to attend.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com