By Scott Stearman Newborns in 10 counties in Mississippi have a shorter life expectancy than newborns in Bangladesh. Please read that again and let the pain behind the numbers take hold in your heart. In this richest of nations, we have a beautiful, lush, prosperous state filled with generous, kind and shirt-off-your-back kind of people …
More than one in four Mississippi children—including two-fifths of Black children—are living in poverty. It’s the highest percentage in the U.S., which as a country has one of the highest child poverty rates in the wealthy world. That’s finally about to change. Last week, 360,000 Mississippi families received their first monthly payout of the revamped and …
Mississippi was one of three states to lose population during the decade.
Running analysis and commentary about bills we’re watching in the 2021 Mississippi legislative session.
Running analysis and commentary about bills we’re watching in the 2021 legislative session.
Running analysis and commentary about bills we’re watching in the 2021 legislative session.
“There are two things we should all care about: never to forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.? – Fannie Lou Hamer Mrs. Hamer ? born on October 6, 1917 ? was a bridge that carried Black Mississippians toward political and economic freedom. Her work was rooted in …
In honor of National Voter Registration Day, we share these thoughts on civic responsibility written by Governor Winter in 2003. They feel as relevant as ever. ?The most important office is that of citizen. It is the office that transmits all political authority. Only through the collective judgement of private citizens, acting through their elected …
Bracey Harris reports on education in Mississippi for the?The Hechinger?Report, a nonprofit education news service based at Columbia Teachers College.?Her stories illuminate the systemic effects of race and poverty while keeping the spotlight where it belongs — on the children, parents, teachers, and others who have the most at stake. Bracey is a native Mississippian, …
There is no silver bullet to reverse brain drain. It requires people to do their part on the state, local, and organizational level. Economic and lifestyle factors cause Mississippians to leave and others to stay away. Mississippi is heavily represented among the fastest-shrinking counties. However, even the counties that are growing rapidly by Mississippi’s standards [...]
Mental health and substance use challenges range from depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction and more. Though some of these issues are? visible, many? can be harder to see when you?re not looking for them. In 2018, it was estimated that around 26 percent of those in the U.S. aged 18-25 and 23 percent of those aged …
The sun has risen over Mississippi today, but for the first time in 126 years, the Confederate-themed state flag has not. The Winter Institute’s Jake McGraw, Jeran Herbert, and Von Gordon reflect on the remarkable movement that accomplished what most thought impossible just a few weeks ago.
For now, leave the flagpoles bare. Let Mississippi earn a new flag that reflects an inclusive and just state.
This year, the next disaster keeps arriving before the last disaster is over. Historic rainfall in January and February swelled the Pearl River and flooded large swaths of Jackson and central Mississippi, inundating hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of residents. Tornadoes ripped across the state throughout the month of April, causing 15 deaths and …
On November 3rd, more than 1.2 million Mississippians will cast their votes for the presidency, Congress, and a handful of down-ballot offices. At best, we will be in recovery from the worst public health and economic crisis in our lifetimes. At worst, we will still be in lockdown after premature attempts to loosen social distancing …
Governor Reeves?s statewide stay-at-home order goes?into effect?today. It is a necessary ? and overdue ? measure to forestall the spread of the coronavirus that has infected at least 1,300 and killed 26 people in Mississippi. It is also another sign of how much the world has changed in just a few short weeks. Prior to …
Right now, the best thing people can do for public health is?to isolate themselves at home. The best thing people can do?for?the economy is?to continue working. Both are possible for people who have?reliable internet access and jobs that can be performed remotely. For everyone else, they are mutually exclusive. I have had the privilege of …
Conventional economic wisdom says that Mississippi is often the last state into and last state out of a national recession. That wisdom largely held for the 2001 and 2008 recessions, which started in sectors (tech and finance, respectively) that did not have wide footprints in Mississippi. But once the downturns spread to the rest of …
On Wednesday night, Mississippi became the 39th state to confirm a case of COVID-19. Five more presumptive cases have been reported today. Coronavirus took a while to reach Mississippi, but now that it?s here, the priority is containing its spread and treating the people who suffer severe complications. At the same time, it?s important to …
The rainiest new year in memory swelled the Pearl River and inundated more than 450 homes and businesses in the Jackson area?in recent weeks. The flooding has been a humanitarian and economic disaster for a city that contends with infrastructure emergencies on its sunniest days. It has also reignited a longstanding debate about whether a …
Former Governor William Winter, the namesake and inspiration of the Winter Institute, turns 97 today. His remarkable life has spanned nearly half of Mississippi?s 202-year history as a state. It?s a hard thing to fact check, but it?s unlikely that anyone has ever met more Mississippians over the course of a lifetime. Indeed, there cannot …
For all of the standardized testing in schools these days, there’s only one exam that measures student achievement across the entire country. It’s the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is actually a set of exams periodically given to representative samples of students in all 50 states and D.C. every. The NAEP tests that …
Mississippi’s net migration loss since 2010 is almost equal to the population of Biloxi, the state’s fifth-largest city.
“I hope that the bravery he sees in his predecessors makes him believe that he was built for brave choices, too.”
Every other state’s flag features something distinctive about itself. Why doesn’t ours?
A response to recent columns The Daily Mississippian by professors of writing and rhetoric at the University of Mississippi.
“We are not shocked, because unfortunately we know it’s coming.”
This is an excerpt from the new book, Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta.?
On a recent visit home, writer Douglas Ray reflected on Mississippi’s humane letters and inhumane laws.
A former teacher’s reflection on breaking the black-white dichotomy in the Mississippi Delta.
An upcoming trip to Canada is already broadening horizons.
HB 1523 has been on the minds of Mississippi natives living in other parts of the country. For many, it underscores why they left.
A state representative’s abrasive email sheds light on Mississippi’s self-destructive mentality.
The benefits are overstated, the costs are underestimated, and there are much better ways to fund essential services.
It’s a simple question that requires a complex answer.
What happens when states prosecute people on food stamps before they prosecute people who commit tax fraud worth millions of dollars?
The former governor shares his thoughts on education, racism, millennials’ obligation to social justice, and Mississippi’s place in America
The average fast food worker in Mississippi earns less than the poverty line and receives few benefits or protections.
East Biloxi residents are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Community organizations are doing their part to promote economic stability, but state policymakers need to lift unnecessary burdens.
An analysis of MDE data shows that pre-K attendance can kickstart a positive domino effect that raises the likelihood of long-term academic success.
Special needs students are legally entitled to free, appropriate public education services. In order to accept one of Mississippi’s new $6,500 vouchers, they must waive that right ? with potentially costly consequences.
Become a lawyer and represent the Legislature when it evades its responsibility to adequately support public schools.
Black students compose half of Mississippi’s enrollment but receive 74 percent of suspensions according to a new analysis of federal school discipline data.
White women in make only 79 cents for every dollar earned by white men. The gap is even worse for black women.
Thanks to a new policy, 250 high-poverty Mississippi schools are offering nutritious breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge.
Mississippi’s anachronistic primary system made it possible for a mystery man to win the Democratic nomination for governor.
Even when ‘The Daily Show’ hit close to home, it was hard not to laugh.
The refusal to expand Medicaid means hundreds of thousands of Mississippians will remain without health insurance ? and healthcare providers will be forced to pick up the tab.
?What Works in Mississippi? is series that will highlight current issues faced by working Mississippians and the good work being done to address those challenges. Our first subject is the Women?s Foundation of Mississippi, a grant making and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of the state’s women and families.
More than 300,000 mothers in Mississippi depend on the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
Mississippi has screened 5,578 TANF applicants for drug use since August. Only eight (0.14 percent) have tested positive.
Mississippi has one of the nation’s lowest rates of higher education attainment and one of the highest rates of student loan default.
The tax cut proposal defeated during the legislative session would have placed necessary investments at risk without improving the state’s economic competitiveness.
If you take the IHL Board at their word, the University of Mississippi’s educational and social mission is subordinate to the quest for financial returns.
Four Ole Miss student body presidents say that the IHL Board has threatened the progress they worked with Dan Jones to achieve.
Don’t take the unjustified firing of Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones lying down.
The “compromise” plan adds $170 million to the price tag — roughly as much as the Legislature underfunded K-12 education this year.
Will the Legislature mortgage the state’s long-term fiscal health for an election year boost? Check back for updates.
If the economy grows, the income tax cut will become more expensive in absolute terms — as will the cost of education, infrastructure, and other public services.
Low- and middle-income Mississippians pay the state’s highest tax rates, but the Legislature has left them out of tax cut discussions.
Mississippi lawmakers are playing a game of one-upmanship when it comes to tax proposals, but the biggest losers could be taxpayers if lawmakers enact one of the more ill-advised plans.
The Legislature’s tax cut proposals would require spending reductions for key services like education, infrastructure, mental health, and public safety.
Eliminating the individual income tax would mean either a massive erosion of resources for education and other priorities or a tax shift from wealthy Mississippians to working families who are struggling to make ends meet.
If the Legislature phases out the state’s second-largest revenue source, future budgets will be forced to slash essential investments or raise taxes and fees on low- and middle-income families.
The bill, which would have prohibited abortions based on determinations of race or gender, played on disturbing stereotypes in yet another attempt to limit reproductive justice.
The following speech by U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves — Mississippi’s second African American federal judge — has been shared widely since it was read in his courtroom?on February 10. The occasion was a sentencing hearing for the perpetrators of a modern-day lynching: the brutal murder of James Craig Anderson by white teenagers in 2011. Many outlets have republished Judge Reeves’ powerful words in their entirety, and we choose to be among them.
Forbes ranked Mississippi the worst state for business because of a poorly-educated workforce and substandard quality of life factors. Durable investments are needed, not more corporate tax cuts.
A 2014 law requires all of Mississippi’s two- and four-year colleges to develop plans to address unplanned pregnancy on campus. This is a good start, but more needs to be done.
Low-wage jobs, inadequate savings, and the lack of proper financial tools keep many working Mississippians in a perpetual state of insecurity.
62 percent of Mississippi households do not have enough savings to weather a job loss or medical emergency.
Small school districts fare worse when superintendents are elected rather than appointed.
High sales taxes place a disproportionate burden on low-income families, according report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
It makes it harder to pass. Plain and simple.
Nearly 10 out of every 1,000 children do not survive their first year of life, making Mississippi one of the riskiest places to be born in the developed world.
The governor of the country’s poorest state has exhausted all the stereotpyes about poverty. This is his last legislative session before reelection to address the needs of real people.
28.7 percent of Mississippi children do not have consistent, dependable access to nutritious food at home. The high-poverty community eligibility provision has extended school meals to thousands more Mississippi students, but hundreds of eligible schools still have not signed up.
Even when “The Colbert Report” hit close to home, it was hard not to laugh.
Despite revenue growth and full reserves, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee’s FY2016 proposal fails to adequately fund the state’s education and health commitments.
Enterprise Attendance Center Principal Shannon Eubanks says the suggestion to drop Mississippi?s standards is ?political pandering.?
Despite $166 million in additional revenue, cuts are recommended for every major budget category except for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, for which the proposal includes a very small increase for teacher pay raises enacted last year.
Craft breweries are an economic and cultural boon for Mississippi, but an outdated regulatory regime threatens their competitiveness and sustainability.
Unbanked and underbanked households typically operate in a cash-based system, and, as a result, do not have the same financial security and opportunities as those who bank with traditional financial institutions.
Reducing child poverty requires a “two-generation approach,” according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest KIDS COUNT report.
Folllow our running feed to get the best insights and ideas from the Mississippi Economic Policy Center’s 2014 conference.
Despite modest education gains, Mississippi still ranks second from the bottom in annual “Opportunity Index.”
A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that Mississippi ranks among the worst in the country in depth of cuts to school funding since the start of the recession.
The handful of Mississippians who have risen from poverty to prominence occupy more space in our imaginations — and our TVs, books, blogs, etc. — than combined stories of the 256,000 Mississippi children currently living in poverty.
Mississippi’s football success is getting very, very expensive.
During a season in which Mississippi boasted two of the country’s top three college football teams, we explore the question that has frustrated Rebels and Bulldogs for a century.
For the 24th time in 25 years, Mississippi finished last in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s index of 16 child well-being indicators. The director of Mississippi KIDS COUNT provides an explanation of the rankings.
Despite low taxes, Mississippi ranked 49th in Forbes’s 2013 business climate survey thanks to a poorly-trained labor force and low quality of life.
Mississippians win MacArthur “Genius Grants” at a higher rate than residents of any other Southern state. What, if anything, does that say about us?
After more than a decade of stagnant wages, one in three jobs in Mississippi does not pay enough to lift a family of four out of poverty.
At 8 percent, Mississippi?s unemployment rate was the highest in the nation for July.
From 2006 to 2012, the dropout rate for black males in Mississippi schools has been above 20 percent while the dropout rate for all students has declined from 17.6 percent to 13.9 percent.
This week’s same-sex marriage ruling from Rankin County shows the hostility to LGBT rights among some of Mississippi’s elected judges.
As Faulkner instructs, the past is never dead. But lingering Confederate sympathy among Mississippians ? flaring in the wake of the University of Mississippi’s diversity and inclusion report ? proves that it is often misremembered.
Mississippi’s flagship university has the opportunity to be a leader for institutions dealing with legacies of racism and exclusion. But before that can happen, we need to support Dan Jones’s leadership from within.
Mississippi?s rejection of Medicaid expansion means that hundreds of thousands will remain without insurance ? and healthcare providers will be forced to pick up the tab.
John Oliver takes on America’s broken prison system, with one particularly egregious example from right here in Mississippi.
Governor Bryant?s letter to President Obama demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of U.S. immigration and constitutional law.
Don’t waste your summer online. This quick recap with bring you up to speed with everything happening at Rethink Mississippi.
The whole LeBron saga has gotten me thinking about the idea of homecoming: What responsibilities do we have to our place of birth? How do we reconcile those with the opportunities afforded by more glamorous places?
Commentary: Gov. Bryant claims to be protecting teachers from government intervention, but jamming the brakes at the eleventh hour would amount to an even greater intrustion into the classroom than any promulgated by the Common Core.
Common Core gave me the flexibility to teach to my students’ individual needs without compromising essential learning goals that ensured they would be ready for college or careers upon graduation.
Watch this trailer for an upcoming documentary about Gov. Winter’s remarkable life and achievements.
Mississippi only allocates 15 cents of every financial aid dollar on the basis of need, while other states designate 71 cents per financial aid dollar.
All Mississippians could benefit from the rigorous new literacy standards.
More than one-fourth of Mississippi public schools are at least 90 percent black. Another tenth are at least 90 percent white. And, just as in 1964, students in those identifiably black schools receive an inferior education.
Mississippi’s progress was on full display at Mt. Zion church in Neshoba County last Sunday. So was its unfinished business.
The Mississippi author Willie Morris had a saying: “We all love Mississippi, but it doesn’t always love us back.” However, recent data suggest that there may be less love lost than Willie realized.
Here?s what we thought about this week, the 10,248th in Mississippi state history.
Mississippi ranks 46th in business creation and 49th in STEM professionals. Educational reforms are needed to make Mississippi’s economy more dynamic and innovative.
Children in Mississippi are falling further behind the rest of the nation?s children in vital areas such as education and health, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Monday was Mississippi’s worst day of tornado activity on record. Nearly every part of the state was hit, killing twelve people and injuring dozens more.
Here?s what we thought about this week, the 10,246th in Mississippi state history.
Or anything online, for that matter.
Here?s what we thought about this week, the 10,245th in Mississippi state history.
Mississippi receives $2.45 in federal spending for every $1 it contributes in taxes. It’s time we showed our gratitude.
Here’s what stuck with us this week, the 10,244th in Mississippi state history.
In honor of Equal Pay Day, Mississippi should resolve to eliminate wage discrimination and other barriers to economic opportunity for women.
Low educational achievement accounts for more than half of the income gap between Mississippi and the rest of the country.
Here?s what we thought about this week, the 10,243rd in Mississippi state history.
A groundbreaking study on economic mobility found that those born in poverty in Mississippi rarely have the opportunity to break out.
In the first of a three-part series, Matt Williams of the Mississippi Center for Justice argues why Mississippians should be concerned about rising income inequality.
In the state that ranks at the bottom for almost every health outcome, the Mississippi Healthy Students Act has been hailed as a big step forward in the battle against childhood obesity and chronic disease. But its success has masked growing racial disparities.
Here?s what we thought about this week, the 10,242nd in Mississippi state history.
The Affordable Care Act could correct an imbalance in the tax code and improve working Mississippians’ financial security… if the state’s leaders would just get out of the way.
A weekly aggregation of the ideas and issues that stuck with us. This week: Mississippi writers talk about life and literature in the state, and the uninsured are still skeptical of the ACA as the enrollment deadline approaches.
The director of WKKF’s Mississippi and New Orleans programming speaks about President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, the challenges unique to young black and Latino men, and what success will look like in Mississippi.
The rejection of Medicaid expansion and mistrust among the uninsured have depressed enrollment.
Is it about religious freedom? Is it about LGBTQ discrimination? We cover all of that in our primer on the most controversial bill of the legislative session.
SB 2681 sanctions discrimination in the name of religious freedom. Lex Rofes of the Institute of Southern Jewish Life explains why his religious beliefs have led him to oppose the bill.
If Gov. Bryant was serious about improving treatment and prevention for diabetes, he would not have rejected the federal Medicaid expansion or banned local regulations on nutrition.
UM’s first black female student body president encountered racism at the university, but she also learned the meaning of love and compassion.
LGBT Forward and OUTLaw’s symposium at the UM Law School will bring Mississippi closer to ending discrimination based on sexual difference.
The desecration of the James Meredith statue goes to show that while the university has been desegregated, the work of integration is unfinished.
The bipartisan sentencing reform bill moving through the Legislature does not address racial disparities. That’s a serious omission.
By selling health insurance at the state level, places like Mississippi have fewer options and higher costs.
More than 20 percent of Mississippians — and nearly 30 percent of children — do not have consistent access to nutritious food. The latest cuts to food assistance programs are a step in the wrong direction.
Over one in three Mississippi children grow up below the federal poverty line. More than 75 percent of those kids live in homes with a single mother.
Now that the Governor and Legislature want to add “In God We Trust” to the state seal, let?s have a conversation about the symbol that most needs to be changed.
Politico Magazine ranked Mississippi as America’s worst state. Gov. Phil Bryant’s rebuttal did nothing to disprove it.
The Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance advocates for workers’ compensation reforms that puts the needs of workers first.
Economic research shows that Southern cities benefit the most from increasing concentrations of skilled workers. Mississippi needs to catch up.
Mississippi is stuck in a bad equilibrium that gives its educated young people little incentive to stay.
While Mississippi’s poverty rate has declined drastically in absolute terms, the state hasn’t kept pace with its neighbors.
This is the time of the year for self-improvement. Mississippi should start by creating universal pre-K, supporting Jackson’s growth, and a adopting new spirit of innovation.
292 million; 19.7%; 0; 161. Find out what they meant to Mississippi in 2013.
Instead of taking opportunity to educate the public about the state-adopted Common Core standards, the governor chose duplicity.
Panola and Covington counties can each make a case to be Mississippi’s “NFL Capital.”
The 2013 edition of America’ s Health Rankings came out yesterday. Once again, Mississippi finished 50th. At least you can’t fault our consistency.
Over one in three Mississippi children grow up in households under the federal poverty line. That’s higher than any developed country in the world.
Several schools have implemented new research showing that character strengths such as determination and resilience are better predictors of life success than mere intelligence. Mississippi’s education decision-makers should adopt the same values when tackling the state’s education challenges — first by promoting innovative, high-capacity school leadership.
Helmick and Pringle sat down with Rethink Mississippi and The Hechinger Report to discuss ways to increase funding for Mississippi’s schools and teachers, as well as Common Core, Pre-K, and the unique challenges of rural schools.
Mississippi’s “Opportunity Index” has improved in the past two years but still ranks near the bottom nationally.
More than 40 percent of students in Mississippi are not ready for kindergarten, according to the results of a survey released by Mississippi KIDS COUNT.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, former Gov. Haley Barbour, and Rev. Keith Tonkel were on their best behavior at Operation Shoestring’s “Conversation About Community.” In doing so, they missed an opportunity for the frank public discussion that Jackson’s problems deserve.
The South is the country’s fastest-growing region. Why are people leaving Mississippi?
Since the Legislature legalized high-gravity beer in 2012, craft breweries have sprung up around the state. Mississippi should embrace their development rather than reverting to its old objections.
Mississippi’s new superintendent of education says, “Poverty is not an excuse.” She’s talking to Mississippi’s leaders, not its kids.
In summary: Medicaid inflation, short-term thinking, and anti-tax dogma.
By putting up $378 million in cash incentives to attract Nissan, Mississippi has made itself beholden to a large overseas employer — perhaps even against the interests of its own citizens.
Like many, I was angered and ashamed that students at my alma mater, the University of Mississippi, disrupted a performance of “The Laramie Project” Tuesday night with gay slurs and other hateful behavior. Here are my thoughts about moving forward.
Yes, but only through the kindness of strangers. Thanks, federalism!
Mississippi’s new law requiring doctors to take DNA samples from umbilical cords of mothers under 16 was hailed by supporters as a key step toward combatting teen pregnancy. Instead, by ignoring the real causes of unplanned pregnancies, it risks exacerbating the problem.
African Americans account for 61 percent of Mississippi’s prisoners, but only 37 percent of its population. Mississippi should join a national movement to reexamine the racial impact of its sentencing laws.
Mississippi has made a large investment in Teach for America. A groundbreaking new study gives us a better idea of what we get in return.
Once nuclear waste begins to look like gold, Mississippians need to have a conversation about smart growth.
Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the ex-Guv says the playing field is level and that blacks can be racist, too.
Despite attracting large employers such as Nissan and Toyota, Mississippi has not added a single net job since 1998. Here’s a look at the facts.
Thanks for stopping by. Let me tell you a little about the place.
In the mid-1990s, Mississippi’s highway signs admonished passing drivers: “Only Positive Mississippi Spoken Here.” The slogan still dictates how Mississippi addresses its tough issues: instead of confronting our negatives, we change the subject to our positives.
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