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Executive Director Notes:

As another school year comes to a close, we, at Mississippi First, continue to work hard for the future of the students in Mississippi.

MSF Takes on National Media: Earlier this month, Mississippi’s sex ed law went viral. It all started with a feature article in theL.A. Times. A variety of online news sources re-blogged the article and featured a quote taken out of context. In order to disseminate the facts, Mississippi First responded to the story on our website. To read, more click here.

2014 Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership: This past month, we were notified that Sanford and I were named one of the three finalists for the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership. The award is given to inspiring Teach For America alumni who have led significant and measurable systemic change on a broad scale in the last year within their respective communities. Each of the finalists will be recognized at the Teach For America Educators Conference In Las Vegas, Nevada, in July where the winner will be announced.

PreK Campaign: Later this month, we will be launching our first preK fundraising campaign! Over the years, Mississippi First has championed for early education in Mississippi. As we look to the future, we hope to increase public funding to create even more preK collaboratives around the state, and we will continue to advocate and support access to public preK for all students in Mississippi. In order to do this, we need your financial support! Our goal is to raise $10,000 before June 30 to continue to support our early education advocacy work in Mississippi. We hope you will join us in the campaign to help us reach our goal as we work hard to ensure educational excellence for all students in Mississippi. Make your gift today, and be on the lookout for more opportunities to directly impact our work.

Thank you for your continued support,

Rachel Canter
Executive Director

Charter Schools

As mentioned in last month’s update, only 3 applications were approved to move forward to the quality review phase of the application review process. Copies of those three applications can be reviewed here.

The Authorizer Board plans to hold public meetings in the three communities where charter school applications were approved. The dates and locations for these meetings have been made available on the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board webpage.

Last week, the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board released the Executive Director job description. This job description is designed to reflect the qualities of a highly effective, experienced leader who will excel in carrying out the duties and directives of the Authorizer Board.


Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens (CHART)

Sex education in Mississippi hit the national headlines this past month. The attention Mississippi received reiterates the need for high-quality comprehensive sex education curricula in our public schools. We will continue to expand CHART in our Priority 1 and 2 school districts with the launch of some new projects over the next few months, so follow us on social media. If you are interested in learning more about CHART, visit our CHART information page on our website or reach out to Josh, our Teen Health Policy Coordinator, at
Last month, we announced our new partnership with  Advocates for Youth to create the Mississippi Youth Council (MYCouncil). MYCouncil is comprised of 10 dynamic youth activists from across Mississippi that support and promote high-quality comprehensive sex education and related policies that improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people throughout the state. We are excited to announce we had great response (with 22 great applicants!) and we are looking forward to introducing you to the first class of MYCouncil in the upcoming months.


Recently, Mississippi First has been providing information about the new preK tax incentive to local businesses and preK collaboratives. In February, we hosted the first preK event and we have plans to host two more in May. If you are interested in learning more about these events or about the preK tax incentive, contact Angela Bass at
Did you catch Rachel talking about preK on public radio? If not, listen to the full interview here.

School Turnaround

Common Core
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Mississippi First in the News

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