FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 31, 2005

Governor Haley Barbour, Dr. Henry Johnson Advocate
Liberating Successful Schools

(Jackson, Miss.) – Governor Haley Barbour was joined by Dr. Henry Johnson today at Murrah High School to advocate the liberation of successful schools from State bureaucracy as part of the governor’s “UpGrade” proposal being considered by the Legislature.

Murrah High School is a Level 5 school, meaning they have the highest ranking and would therefore be exempt from the process standards required by the State Department of Education’s policy manual, as long as they maintain their high level of achievement.

“‘UpGrade’ is about empowering local leaders and communities to be free of state bureaucracy so they can innovate and upgrade student achievement in their schools,” said Governor Barbour.

This proposed legislation reduces needless paperwork by creating a task force for superintendents, principals, and teachers. It grants “Home Rule” to high-performing school districts, allowing these districts to be legally able to pursue their own education interests, unless the law expressly prohibits it. It allows the State Department of Education to focus its resources and assistance on fewer schools, the ones which need the most help: Level 1, 2 and 3 schools in Mississippi. And it also expands Mississippi’s charter school law, which has been labeled the most restrictive in the nation, so local communities will be free to develop schools of learning tailored to their own needs.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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