The Mississippi Governor, state Department of Education create “The Military Star Schools Program.”
Governor Tate Reeves announced two new executive orders to support military members and their families particularly during relocations to Mississippi.
“Mississippi’s service members and their families have sacrificed so much for us, that it’s only right we do everything we can to support them. Join me as I announce two executive orders that will help give them the support they deserve,” said Reeves on Facebook.
The first, Executive Order 1561, directs the Mississippi Department of Education to administer a new program, “The Military Star Schools Program.” Reeves said in 2020 there were over 7,300 children of active-duty military in Mississippi. Last year the ICC found reason to establish a program for best practices to host the children of military families, particularly children who change schools frequently because of their parents’ service.
This program will allow MDE to award and designate schools who have created a special program to recognize the children of military connected families and the unique challenges they face with a relocation order.
A school will be able to apply for a military star designation if they do the following:
- Designate a staff member as a military ambassador.
- Maintain a page on the school’s website that contains resources for military families.
- Maintain a peer-to-peer transition program to assist military transitioning students.
- Offer staff training on military student transitions.
Governor Reeves also signed an executive order establishing the Mississippi Defense Communities Development Council.
“Mississippi’s military installations are vital to the health and vitality of our state’s economy,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “The Mississippi Defense Communities Development Council will provide an additional voice for these installations to ensure they continue to best serve our nation, our state and the communities in which they are located.”
The MDCDC will be coordinated by the Governor’s Office of Military Affairs, which is housed within the Mississippi Development Authority, and will provide a body in which representatives of the communities in which military installations are located can advise executive and legislative officials regarding opportunities and threats to military installations in the state. While the Mississippi Military Communities Council previously worked to defend the state’s military assets, this new entity will work on a more proactive basis to strengthen Mississippi’s military assets and find new opportunities.
Each active-duty military installation and National Guard training center in Mississippi will be represented by community and economic development teams who will monitor federal base restructuring activities and/or enhance nearby military installations. One primary representative and one alternative representative from communities in which the following military installations are located will comprise the MDCDC:
- Keesler Air Force Base (Biloxi)
- Columbus Air Force Base (Columbus)
- Naval Air Station Meridian (Meridian)
- Naval Construction Battalion (Gulfport)
- Stennis Space Center and DOD Resident Agencies (Hancock County)
- Camp Shelby JFTC (Forrest County)
- Combat Readiness Training Center (Gulfport)
- Camp McCain Training Center (Grenada)
- 186th Air Refueling Wing, MS ANG (Meridian)
- 172nd Airlift Wing, MS ANG (Rankin County)
- Engineer Research and Development Center (Vicksburg)
- Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast (Jackson County)
You can view both orders below: