Dennis DeBar, Jr.



Approved by the Governor

SB 2422 would require local school districts to issue procurement cards to public school teachers no later than September 1 of each year. Teachers are currently supposed to receive procurement cards—which allow them to purchase school supplies using a predetermined amount of state funds—at the start of the school year, though distribution has often been delayed. SB 2422 is an effort to ensure the timely distribution of procurement cards. 

Under SB 2422, the Mississippi Department of Education would be required to provide local school districts with procurement cards by August 1 of each year. In turn, local school districts would be required to provide these procurement cards to teachers by September 1. SB 2422 would also ensure that the cards do not expire until May 1 of the same school year. Though the distribution of procurement cards is already enshrined in statute, SB 2422 would enforce strict deadlines by which they must be issued. 

It is already common for teachers to personally fund hundreds of dollars to purchase instructional items not provided by their local school district. Though the distribution of procurement cards is intended to reduce this financial burden on teachers, delays in their distribution have caused teachers to use personal funds at the beginning of the school year—a particularly high-demand time for purchasing instructional materials. The amount of money teachers can expend with procurement cards is set on a year-by-year basis.

On January 20, SB 2422 passed the Senate Education Committee. The bill will now go to the Senate for a full vote. 

1/27/22 Update:
On January 27, the Senate passed an amended SB 2422. 

The amended SB 2422 would give the option for there to be a “digital solution capable of tracking, paying, and reporting purchases” in addition to, or in lieu of, physical procurement cards. Such a digital solution would achieve the same purpose as procurement cards, but would more easily enable online purchases. 

SB 2422, as amended by the Senate, would also require that procurement cards not expire before April 1, though this would not preclude cards from expiring at a later date before the end of the school year. Originally the date was May 1. The amended SB 2422 would also require MDE to determine a timeline for issuing cards to teachers hired after the beginning of each school year.

2/24 Update:
On February 24, the House Education Committee passed SB 2422 with a “strike-all” amendment. With the strike-all amendment, the House essentially wrote their own version of the bill, a process which will require the Senate to concur with the changes before the bill is sent to the Governor.

The revised text is not currently available online, but based on discussions at the 2/24 House Education Committee meeting, the only substantive changes to the original bill would be pushing the deadline for teachers to receive procurement cards to August 1 (rather than September 1) and providing $25 million in annual funding (rather than determining the specific funding amount on a yearly basis). These changes would allow teachers to access these funds earlier in the school year, and would ensure that the funding remains more stable. 

SB 2422 is now awaiting action on the House floor.

3/9/22 Update:
On March 9, the House unanimously passed SB 2422 as amended by the House Education Committee. These amendments include an August 1 deadline for teachers to receive procurement cards and an appropriation of $25 million in annual funding for procurement cards (both mentioned in the 2/24 update). Other amendments include:

  • A deadline of December 31 of each school year for teachers to expend funds on procurement cards. After December 31, all remaining funds would be allocated to “STEM, arts and gifted teachers” to expend until January 31, at which point all remaining funds would be reallocated to the following school year. (Previously, the deadline was April 1 of each school year.)
  • A provision extending procurement cards to gifted and special education teachers as well as teachers employed in a university-based program.
  • An appropriation of $1.2 million dollars to the University of Mississippi Medical Center to establish and administer the “Child Health and Developmental Promotion Fellowship within the Center for Advancement of Youth.” This fellowship would be for the purpose of “providing post-graduate fellowships to individuals in various healthcare disciplines for training and education on serving children” ages 0-6 who are “behaviorally and/or developmentally delayed.”

The amended SB 2422 will now go to the Senate for concurrence with House amendments. Because there is a reverse repealer, the Senate will almost certainly decline to concur and, instead, invite conference—a process in which three conferees from each chamber will attempt to negotiate a final bill that is amenable to both the House and the Senate.

3/17/22 Update:
On March 16, the Senate voted to invite conference on SB 2422 as amended by the House. This was expected due to the reverse repealer, though it is possible that conferees may make additional changes to the bill.

On March 17, the Senate named Education Committee Chairman Dennis DeBar, Education Committee Vice-Chairman David Blount, and Senator Nicole Akins Boyd as conferees. The House has yet to name conferees.

3/29/22 Update:
Conferees failed to produce a conference report amenable to a majority of conferees by the March 28 deadline. SB 2422 is now dead.

3/30/22 Update:
On March 29, the House and the Senate voted to adopt House Concurrent Resolution 89, which extends the 2022 Regular Session and suspends deadlines for certain bills, including SB 2422. Conferees for SB 2422 now have another opportunity to file a conference report.

4/4/22 Update:
On April 1, conferees for SB 2422 filed a conference report for the bill. The Senate and the House proceeded to adopt the conference report, which will now send the finalized bill to the Governor to be signed into law.

The final version of SB 2422 rolls back many of the changes made by the House. The bill now closely resembles the version which the Senate initially passed in January. The features of the final bill are as follows:

  • A July 1 deadline for school districts to submit a number of teachers eligible for procurement cards to MDE.
  • An August 1 deadline for DFA to issue procurement cards (or “credentials for a digital solution”) to teachers.
  • An April 1 deadline for teachers to expend funds (unexpended amounts will be carried forward and reallocated the following school year).
  • A provision specifying that gifted or special education teachers (even part-time teachers) are eligible for procurement cards.

Unlike the House-amended version of SB 2422, the final conference report does not include a mid-year expiration date for procurement cards followed by a reallocation to STEM teachers. It also does not include an appropriation for the Child Health and Developmental Promotion Fellowship at UMMC. Most importantly, it does not include an annual appropriation for procurement cards (previously the House had amended SB 2422 to include a $25 million annual appropriation). Legislators will be tasked with determining a specific funding amount on an annual basis.

4/25/22 Update:
On April 14, Governor Tate Reeves signed SB 2422 into law. The bill goes into effect immediately.