The Sun Herald's story (Feb. 14) about the two students receiving perfect scores on the ACT prompted me to write this letter.
The ACT's website states that less than one-tenth of 1 percent of its students earn a 36 composite score, so the two students who earned the perfect score should certainly be applauded for a monumental achievement. The amazing fact that we have not one but two students from West Harrison High School scoring a perfect 36 this year is proof positive that our public schools are laying a stronger foundation for students to excel. It shows the improvement in course rigor, which leads to higher student accomplishment.
If our schools were fully funded, could we see vast improvements with our ACT scores?
According to the Mississippi Parents' Campaign (msparentscampaign.org), here are the facts about school funding: From 2009 through 2016, Hancock County schools have been underfunded by $14,631,593; Harrison County schools have been underfunded by $44,153,749; and Jackson County schools have been underfunded by $29,475,024. The total for all three coastal counties is $88,260,366, which is a staggering number right here on the Coast.
Mississippi is still making progress on its ACT scores, but there is ample room for improvement. We need biology labs and lab equipment, computers, software, hardware, learning resources, reading assistants, increased AP classes and up-to-date books. How can we continue to improve without proper funding?
There's a bevy of criticism out there asking why should we throw good money at our public schools, and I say why not? These young people are our leaders of tomorrow and our future work force, and these children deserve a better education!