Invest in Public Schools
In 2015, the Mississippi Legislature passed and the Governor signed Senate Bill 2695, “The Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act.” The act established an Education Scholarship Account (ESA) voucher, which sends public money to private schools. The voucher was set up as a five-year pilot to test the effectiveness of voucher programs in Mississippi, and it will end in 2020. In the 2020 legislative session, lawmakers will decide whether to continue funding this voucher program or allow public dollars to remain in public schools.
- A joint legislative committee found the program does not ensure students with disabilities receive needed services.
- Mississippi’s voucher program lacks basic accountability requirements; ranks among the worst.
- Nationally, voucher programs do not improve academic outcomes.