"Under the School Recognition Program, teachers in A-rated schools or schools that improve from a ‘F’ to ‘D’ or a ‘D’ to ‘C’ receive $100 per student, and ‘B’ rated schools receive $75 per student," Wright reports. "Since 2017, the Legislature has funneled about $71 million into the recognition program. In fiscal year 2020, nearly 21,000 certified teachers and staff in more than 500 public schools collectively received $25 million, according to Mississippi Today’s analysis of program records. No administrators can receive an award."
The controversial program is now "at the center of a power struggle between the executive and legislative branch, and it’s the reason why the K-12 budget has not been appropriated this year," Wright reports. "Gov. Tate Reeves partially vetoed about $2.2 billion of the appropriation last month because, he said, the budget bill did not fund the program."