JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The education advocacy group Teach Plus Mississippi went to the Mississippi State Capitol on Tuesday to push for public school funding.

One member said their focused on teacher retention and leveraging mentorship programs to keep teachers in the classroom.

Rebecca Hooper has been teaching high school in Laurel for 13 years. She believes teacher mentorship programs could have a huge impact on Mississippi’s schools.

According to Hooper, these programs could not only help out schools across the state, but also save the state money.

“We need quality teachers in the classroom, and we need them to stay there. So if they have a mentor, that just instills in them a sense of somebody to go to, to lean on, to get help and support, instead of being burnt out or trying to find a different career. They can get the support they need to stay in the classroom, and that helps us save money. It helps us save on resources and all of those kinds of things. So if we want to have that, then we need to support teacher mentorship,” said Hooper.

Education has been a focus to the 2023 Legislative Session. House Bill 1369, the bill that would fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) for the 2024 school year, has yet to be brought up in the House following the Senate’s amendments.

The bill faces a deadline of Thursday, March 23 for the House to concur or invite conference on the bill or die on the calendar.