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Brown v Board of Education: A Divided Legacy?

An Interview with former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Fred Banks, Jr. This article is based on an Interview with former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Fred Banks, Jr. Currently, Judge Banks is a senior partner in the Jackson, Mississippi office of the Phelps and Dunbar law firm — established in New Orleans, LA in 1853, with offices across the Gulf Coast, Raleigh, NC and London, England. Fred Banks, Jr. was in middle school in Jackson, Mississippi at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision in 1954 (subsequent references: “Brown v. Board”). Years later (1968), he...
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Empowering People to Transform Their Communities

This is the first of two features about PPS National’s Community Coordinators. These unsung heroes work within communities to help citizens understand how to influence positive change in the places that they call home. Chiquikta Fountain worked as a Parents for Public Schools Parent Coach for five years before becoming a PPS Community Coordinator. The new position meant working within communities to educate people about how to help improve their community’s standard of living. At first, the job was not exactly what she had in mind, to say the least. Chiquikta admits that the job had to “grow on her,”...
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PPS of Pitt County Provides Special Workshop to Prepare Kindergarten Parents for School

Each year around January and February, a special group of parents begin to call and email Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County. The conversation usually begins with something like, “I can’t believe the time has come!” or, “How did my baby grow up so fast?” These parents have questions about kindergarten, such as how to register their child, when and how to know which school their child should attend, and, how to navigate the school choice option in Pitt County (where some schools have an Open Enrollment policy). Thankfully, as those calls and emails begin to roll in, PPS...
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Working for Education Funding and Equity

All Parents for Public Schools chapters share a mission of supporting quality public education for everyone. The context of the Hawai‘i chapter is different in a few ways. Hawai’i is the only state with one school district, the only one that does not fund public schools with property taxes, and Hawai‘i has the highest private school enrollment in the country. Hawai‘i also ranks 45th in per student funding and has the lowest teacher pay (adjusting for the cost of living) and highest teacher turnover. This school year, over 1,000 classrooms are without a qualified teacher. Native Hawaiian students are more...
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Pitt County Economic Sector Reps Unite to Show Students Their County’s Career Options

Grow Local A subtitle goes here Great things happen when communities unite their resources! Pitt County Schools, the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce, and the Pitt County Development Commission joined forces to sponsor Grow Local, a weeklong opportunity held March 18-22 for local businesses to highlight the careers available to the county's middle and high school students. Kathy Herring, board member of the Pitt County PPS, served on the planning team, providing input as organizers designed an event they hoped would engage 1,000 students with businesses across the county. They were thrilled that almost 3,000 students participated, taking advantage of...
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Congrats, Former PPS San Francisco Executive!

Courtesy NYC Department of Education. Hydra Mendoza, a founding member and former executive director of the San Francisco Parents for Public Schools Chapter, is now deputy chancellor for Community Empowerment, Partnerships and Communications at the New York Department of Education! We at PPS couldn’t be happier for her! She is featured in the Asian Journal. Check out her continuing story of helping empower parents and communities to positively influence children’s education!
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MS House Education Committee says No to Voucher Expansion

The members of the Mississippi Legislature’s House Education Committee, headed by Chairman Richard Bennett, should stand and take a bow. We applaud each of you for allowing Senate Bill 2675 to die quietly, without it even being considered by the committee deadline on March 5. Great Job!!! We at Parents for Public Schools couldn’t be more delighted! Senate Bill 2675, introduced by Sen. Gray Tollison, amounted to a voucher program, and would have expanded the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program dollars for public school students with disabilities to include footing the bill for private school student education. Sen. Tollison’s bill...
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Public School Supporters Like Becky Goff

Parents have the absolute right to choose the education institution they believe is best for their children; they do not have the right to pilfer public tax funds to pay for that choice. Thank you, Ms. Goff, for your unequivocal support of public education in your letter to the editor, “A head’s up for public schools in Tennessee”.  Thank you for not flying the banner of “school choice,” under which we see the continual erosion of funding for our public schools. We at Parents for Public Schools (PPS) are also unequivocal in our support for public education and in our...
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Community Conversations: Equity Major Theme

business team meeting
Each year, PPS-PC conducts community conversations with hundreds of individuals gathering experiences about our public schools. We compile those comments into a written report that is also presented orally to our Board of Education.  We include recommendations for what should continue and any changes the community might like to see. As we tell participants at the conversations, we like to imagine that PPS-PC is a vehicle that holds the voices of the community and drives them to key decision makers in our community. This year, 262 individuals participated in 21 conversations. Participants included a diverse range: Kiwanis and Rotary clubs,...
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Thanksgiving & Public Education

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I remember fondly all the costumes, turkey drawings, Pilgrim hats and headdresses I made while in elementary school.  There was such excitement that a special day was coming where we honored our history and got two days off from school.  My love of history was planted deeply as we studied those early colonists and the Native Americans who helped them survive. While that original Thanksgiving wasn’t repeated for many years, one aspect of our early New England settlers that did survive was the respect for education.  Only fifteen years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the first public school was founded in Boston (Boston Latin).  All New England towns…

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