Mississippi PEP

The steady erosion of the state Board of Education’s authority was thrown into sharp relief last week, when Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves proposed bypassing the board to rewrite academic standards and Gov. Phil Bryant said lawmakers and the people — not the state superintendent of education or the board — are in charge of the state’s school system.

Lawmakers and the governor have been nibbling away for years at the power of the board, created by voters in a 1982 amendment to the Mississippi Constitution.

Now, though, with state Superintendent Carey Wright steadfastly defending use of the Common Core State Standards, Mississippi could be drifting toward a minor constitutional crisis.

The amendment says it’s the board’s job to “formulate policies according to law” for the state Department of Education and the state’s 146 school districts.

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