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JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) expanded its licensing call center on February 1, with longer hours and additional customer service representatives to better support potential and current educators.
The Licensure Call Center now has 15 representatives available from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays to assist educators in seeking information or inquiring about the status of a license application. Previously, four representatives answered calls from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The MDE began integrating the new representatives on 5 January.
The State Board of Education (SBE) approved a $1.8 million contract with a staffing agency at the December 16, 2021 board meeting to hire the customer service representatives. The term of the contract is December 29, 2021 through September 30, 2024. MDE uses ESSER (American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) and ESSER II funds to pay the agency.
During peak season, the number of calls received by MDE Licensure call center representatives ranges between 6,000 and 15,000 calls per month. The objective of the extended center is to reduce the impact of calls.
“I am aware of the frustration some educators have experienced when contacting MDE for permit applications,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Now that the Licensure Call Center has grown, I anticipate a more efficient process and a positive experience for educators.”
A self-service, automated and interactive voice response system will become active in the coming weeks to further enhance the Licensure call center experience. By March 1, all educators will be required to create a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN), which they will need to set up in their Educator Licensure Management System (ELMS) account. The PIN is an additional security feature that will allow teachers to speak to a customer service representative and/or obtain their ELMS account information through the automated system.
The Licensure Call Center telephone number is (601) 359-3483.
Find all the MDE press releases on mdek12.org/news.
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