Down to the Wire: Privatization Votes Coming in House and Senate

When you pray, move your feet. 

It’s an old proverb that is among my favorites. Sometimes, the answer to a heartfelt prayer comes in a call to get up and do something – to be the vessel, the hands and feet, through which important works are done. 

Mississippi parents are answering that call. They are moving their feet to ensure that our precious children’s futures are not sacrificed at the hands of privatizers and profiteers. Will you join them? 

Help Us Kill the Privatization Bills 

Privatization forces are working overtime on the House side to advance a voucher bill that pays tuition for children with special needs to attend unaccountable private schools that are not required to provide special education services. The bill does not have a single accountability measure for the private academies and for-profit schools to which it funnels state funding; it does have some measures to make sure that parents use the debit cards to pay tuition at private and for-profit schools and not on “ineligible expenditures,” but notably, it provides no safeguards for children. For years, legislators who support the vouchers have under-funded special education programs in public schools. Ask your representative to vote NO on SB 2695.  

A privatization bill awaiting action in the Senate allows an existing scholarship program, which is intended to increase the number of dyslexia therapists in public schools to be used for therapists who work in private special purpose schools, diminishes the goal of increasing the number of dyslexia therapists in public schools. Ask your senator to vote NO on HB 488. 

This Wednesday is the deadline for action on these bills, and both are likely to be voted on tomorrow. Please take a minute to call your legislators now.  

Ask your representative to vote NO on SB 2695 (vouchers for private school tuition). 

and 

Ask your senator to vote NO on HB 488 (scholarships for private school teachers). 

Find contact information for all of the legislators who represent your school district here

Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770 

Lt. Governor Reeves  Capitol: 601.359.3200 

Speaker Gunn  Capitol: 601.359.3300 

Parents Are Moving Their Feet! 

Parents all across the state are fed up with the childish partisan politics that have resulted in Mississippi’s 50th ranking on virtually every positive poll, particularly those related to the education of our children. They are sick of the name-calling and playground-style bullying and bickering among politicians that jeopardize our schools, and they have taken to social media to express their frustration. Those sites are taking off like wildfire. Check out these Facebook pages: Fed Up With 50th and Mississippians for Public Education. Do you know of others? 

Are you frustrated? Our children need your voice. Please take a moment to make a poster, snap a photo, and post it on Facebook. Be a part of a movement to ensure our kids a shot at a decent future. 

How are you moving your feet? Call, text, and email your legislators. Tweet your hopes, dreams, and frustrations. Share your concerns on Facebook. Recruit as many as you can to join us. Let’s shut down the profiteers once and for all. Call your legislators now, and ask them to vote NO on privatization bills. Ask everyone you know to call. 

We can do this. Let’s go! 

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As we look toward the 2022 Legislative Session, there is reason to be hopeful. And there is reason to be vigilant! The Senate is pushing for a significant teacher pay raise, but the House tax shift plan threatens to derail it.

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