Another Chance to Amend K-12 Funding Bill, Increase MAEP

We will have another chance to amend HB 1476, the K-12 funding bill, to increase the funding for the Mississippi  Adequate Education Program (MAEP).

Phone calls to legislators from Mississippi parents and educators about the education funding bill are having an effect – we need to keep it up!

There is reason to believe that an amendment to increase MAEP funding will be offered on Monday, February 24, and that it has a good chance of passing. 
Although HB 1476 passed the House today (more on that below), it was held on a motion to reconsider, meaning representatives will have another opportunity to amend the bill. We need lots of phone callse made to legislators to ensure success when the bill comes back up for consideration!

House members can be called at home this weekend. We need an overwhelming push for adequate school funding between now and Monday. 

Please ask your representative AND the House leadership to amend HB 1476 to increase MAEP funding – significantly.

Click here
 to find contact information for the House members who represent your school district.

The House Leadership:

Speaker Philip Gunn
  Personal: 601.924.8438   Capitol: 601.359.3300

Education Chairman John Moore
  Personal: 601.946.5833  Capitol: 601.359.3330

Appropriations Chairman Herb Frierson 
 Personal: 601.795.1675  Capitol: 601.359.3340

Legislators are leaving today (Thursday) for the weekend and will return Monday.

Use phone calls, email, and social media to make sure your message hits home!

Phone calls are much more effective than emails (many legislators do not check their email), but you can quadruple your impact by calling, emailing, and tweeting legislators, and communicating with them through Facebook. Increase that exponentially by asking all of your contacts to do the same. Click here to contact legislators by email or through social media. In just five or ten minutes, you could help us push this over the goal line and win the day for our kids and their schools. 
Remind legislators that state revenue has surpassed 2008 levels (the high-water mark for revenue and school funding), but House Bill 1476 funds schools more than $100-million below what they received in 2008. Click here to see how much your school district has been underfunded in just the last six years and how much your district would be underfunded next year with this bill.

Here’s the back story on what happened today…

The House took up the school funding bill this morning, and my understanding is that an amendment that would have significantly increased the MAEP appropriation was expected and that it had a good chance of passing. A healthy debate on the funding bill ensued. There seems to be some confusion about what happened next.
For reasons that remain unclear, the amendment to increase MAEP was not offered, and the final vote on the bill was called. Legislators who expected the amendment were left without an option, and the bill passed unanimously.

The good news is that the bill was held on a motion to reconsider (we thank Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes for that motion!), so legislators will have another opportunity to amend the bill. That is expected to happen on Monday
. We know that legislators are getting pressure to vote against the amendment and to wait to see if more money comes through later in the session. The House has already passed budget increases for almost every other area of state government. Our children’s education should not come last.

We can do this!

With enough phone calls, text messages, emails, tweets, and Facebook messages, we can make this happen. I know you can do this! Please make those calls and get everyone you know to call, too.

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