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Education, Veteran Legislation Clears Gov. Bryant's Desk

Press Release

Location: Jackson, MS

Gov. Phil Bryant today signed four bills, enacting measures to improve the lives of Mississippi students and veterans.

Bryant signed the following bills into law:

Senate Bill 2461: authorizes "veteran" designation on driver's licenses
Senate Bill 2776: changes school accreditation rating system to letter grade classifications
House Bill 1031: provides dyslexic students with school choice
House Bill 1032: creates scholarships for college students who wish to become dyslexia therapists
"This has been a very successful legislative session," Bryant said. "Working together, we have passed monumental legislation that advances our health care industry, our business climate and government accountability.

"I am very pleased to sign these four remaining bills into law. Our veterans will now be distinguished on their driver's licenses; dyslexic students and those who wish to specialize in dyslexia therapy will now have new avenues to success; and we are improving the clarity of our school accreditation rating system.

"I look forward to continuing this positive momentum for Mississippi."

Senate Bill 2461 includes a provision for the Department of Public Safety to authorize a "veteran" designation on driver's licenses as proof of military service for honorably discharged veterans. More than 200,000 veterans are estimated to live in Mississippi.

"Many businesses provide benefits to veterans, and adding this designation to veterans' driver's licenses will ensure that these men and women are recognized for their service to our state and nation," Bryant said.

Bryant also signed two bills aimed at helping students who struggle with dyslexia.

House Bill 1031 sets guidelines for dyslexia screenings and provides school choice to students diagnosed with dyslexia, allowing them to transfer to a public or private school that offers dyslexia therapy.

House Bill 1032 establishes a scholarship fund for colleges students who wish to become certified dyslexia therapists. In exchange for the scholarship, the recipient is required to serve as a dyslexia therapist in a Mississippi public school.

Bryant, who has talked about his own childhood struggle with dyslexia, announced his intentions for dyslexia legislation in his inaugural State of the State address. Bryant says these efforts will make a difference to children who face the same obstacle.

"I am excited about these new opportunities to help our children who struggle with dyslexia, and I appreciate the work of Rep. Larry Byrd on these two very important pieces of legislation," Bryant said.

Bryant also signed legislation that revises Mississippi's school accreditation rating system. Under Senate Bill 2776, schools and school districts will use clear, letter grade classifications instead of existing labels.

"This is about accountability and is an effort to help parents and communities clearly understand a school's performance," Bryant said.

New ratings vs. current:

A = Star
B = High-performing
C = Successful
D = Academic Watch
F = low performing, at-risk of failing, or failing

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