State education issues to be aired at meetings

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A public school support organization will host a Monday night meeting in Tupelo to discuss education in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents is sponsoring a Congressional District 1 Grassroots Meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Link Centre. Several North Mississippi superintendents will discuss full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, teachers’ salaries, charter schools and the stability of the state retirement system.
The event is open to the public. MASS will host a similar meeting on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oxford High School.
“We’d love for anyone interested in public education to come,” said MASS Executive Director Sam Bounds. “It is a grassroots effort.”
Monroe County Superintendent Scott Cantrell will talk about funding issues, Coffeeville Superintendent Eddie Anderson will address teacher salaries and Corinth Superintendent Lee Childress will discuss the retirement system. Bounds will then talk about charter schools.
The agenda for the Oxford meeting is similar, except DeSoto County Superintendent Milton Kuykendal will discuss charter schools instead of Bounds.
“MASS is taking a leading role in trying to help make people more aware of the educational issues we face today and solutions for these issues,” said Grenada Superintendent David Daigneault, who helped organize the meeting. “The first step in the process is you have to begin to talk about it.”
This is the first time in several years the organization has hosted this kind of meeting.
“Public education has gotten a lot of negative attention,” Bounds said. “We have our problems, but we are also doing some terrific things. We want to get our good stories out there, share our legislative agenda and ask for support.”

Click video to hear audio