Tuesday marked the start of the 2016 Legislative Session. So far, the activity has been mostly ceremonial, with legislators being sworn in and statewide officials inaugurated. Rep. Philip Gunn was elected for another term as Speaker of the House, and Rep. Greg Snowden will serve another term as Speaker Pro Tempore (the number two spot in the House). Sen. Terry Burton was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate (second in command to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves).
Though bills have been drafted, they have not yet been posted online for the public to see, and committee assignments have not yet been announced.
The legislative leadership has staked out its legislative agenda for this year. It includes:
• Tax cuts for corporations
• Revamping the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) (likely to reduce funding for all school districts)
• More funding for special projects instead of fully funding the MAEP
• School choice/privatization (vouchers, charter schools)
• Moving to appointed, rather than elected, superintendents
We are going to need your help to defeat legislation that jeopardizes the education of every public school child and to push for those things that are essential for a quality education: adequate resources, smaller classes, high quality teachers, and excellent school leaders.
We will continue to be your eyes and ears at the Capitol and will let you know about committee assignments and proposed education legislation just as soon as they are made public. In the meantime, please let your own legislators know your priorities and concerns about issues that affect your child. And watch your email inbox for an important announcement from The Parents’ Campaign early next week.
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