New Venture Fund’s Better Schools Better Jobs Program Improves Education in Mississippi

November 11, 2016


The New Venture Fund (NVF) works to achieve a healthier, more equitable world. Its work spans a range of issue areas to realize social and environmental change. It collaborates with individuals and institutions to provide fiscal sponsorship and project hosting support that enable them to reach their philanthropic goals. Thanks in part to support from Voqal, its Better Schools Better Jobs effort, while falling just short of passing immediate reform in 2015, made important advances in improving education in Mississippi.

The Better Schools Better Jobs project created new resources to improve the lives of Mississippi’s vulnerable children in several ways. It created a large, active constituency for increasing funding of Mississippi’s public schools – funding that can help the schools of vulnerable children most. It spurred the creation and active engagement of a large number of local groups that are continuing to work for improved funding of public schools. Finally, it expanded the public understanding in Mississippi of the needs of the state’s most vulnerable children and the need to provide greater assistance.

While the immediate goal of adding a provision to the constitution that would have provided for the requirement that “the State must provide and the legislature must fund an adequate and efficient system of free public schools” ultimately failed, the increased attention to the necessity for education reform in Mississippi was an important accomplishment that can be built on in future years. As a strong believer in an educated and empowered public, Voqal is proud to have supported this initiative and looks forward to further advances aimed at making education more equitable for all in Mississippi and nationwide.