On March 13th, the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) testified in front of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus regarding the history of SEF and our present-day focus of impacting the outcomes of students of color and low-income students in the South.
SEF has a long history of working in the state of Mississippi. From our Miles to Go report centering on Mississippi’s early childhood education report to our campaign to make education a fundamental right in the Mississippi state constitution in 2015, our aim has always been to drive systemic change by producing relevant research and supporting community advocacy. Now, SEF is embracing more direct advocacy efforts among federal, state, and local lawmakers who wish to improve outcomes for low-income students.
For instance, SEF worked with Representative Abe Hudson and Senator Derrick Simmons to introduce the Community Schools Planning and Implementation Grant Fund in this legislative session. This bill provides academic and non-academic services to students and families zoned for low-performing schools that also have a disproportionate number of low-income students. We also plan to continue to build our relationships with other key lawmakers chairing the education committees and Black Caucus’ throughout the South, but feel privileged to re-launch SEF’s legislative affairs work in Mississippi.
Lastly, in addition to Senators Derrick Simmons and Willie Simmons along with Ask for More Jackson and Southern Echo (SEF Partner attendees), we would like to formally thank Chairwoman Sonya Williams Barnes and Representative Hudson for facilitating the meeting. We look forward to a long and continued partnership of bolstering academic and life outcomes for students in the State of Mississippi.