This year has been like no other Mississippi First has faced. We entered 2020 excited about what the future would hold and then…the pandemic hit.

Like everyone, we were left wondering what this global crisis would mean for our work, for schools, and for the health of Mississippians. We watched as the legislative session went into recess for an uncertain amount of time, and public schools shut their doors. But even as offices (including ours!) physically closed, we kept working. We knew that our outcomes might look different than what we projected in 2019, but there was more work than ever to do on behalf of Mississippi’s children.

Early Education

Even during the most trying times, the legislature proved their commitment to early education. The legislature raised the per-pupil funding rate for collaboratives from $2,150 to $2,500. A classroom of 20 will now have $100K.

Charter Schools

This year, we published our second edition of Public Perception of Charter Schools in Mississippi. Since 2019, the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board has commissioned Mississippi First to conduct and publish the findings from a public opinion poll gauging parent awareness and satisfaction with charter schools in Mississippi communities where they operate. 

High-Quality Instructional Materials

We worked in close partnership with the Mississippi Department of Education to develop and launch a campaign to increase usage and access to high-quality instructional materials among Mississippi teachers.

Educator Pipeline Research

In December, we released our newest report, Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi. This report examines the shortage of new teachers, which evidence suggests is driven in part by the declining value of teacher salaries and rising cost of college, and proposes recommendations.


Schools in 2020 look different than ever expected. When COVID-19 hit the States in March 2020, we knew the pandemic was going to be devastating to the education system.