The very good news this evening is that most of the voucher bills are dead!
HB 943, the voucher bill that passed the Education Committee, was also referred to the House Appropriations Committee, where Chairman Frierson allowed it to die on the calendar. Likewise, Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison allowed the Senate voucher bill to die. Please join me in thanking Chairmen Frierson and Tollison and all legislators who met with their constituents, had meaningful conversations about the true impact of vouchers, and sided with the people.
Some troublesome bills remain, including tax credit scholarship (voucher) bills that are considered revenue bills and have a different deadline. We must continue to work with our legislators to ensure that the education bills that move forward are truly in the best interests of Mississippi children.
Harmful bills that remain alive:
• HB 29 – Transfers authority from the State Board of Education to the legislative PEER committee; all education reports go to PEER.
• HB 47 – Individual students’ test scores submitted to State Auditor to determine sufficient academic progress; more government bureaucracy as MDE accountability ratings process is duplicated in Auditor’s office.
• HB 958 – Prohibits public K-12, university, and college administrators and board members from using their official capacity to lobby the Legislature for policy change – something that is a right and an obligation in their roles as administrators and trustees. Any attempt by legislators to silence the people they were elected to represent is unconscionable.
• HB 1044 – Allows any student statewide to cross district lines to attend charter schools; local and state funding follows the student. The Parents’ Campaign opposes allowing students who are not in under-performing districts to cross district lines to attend a charter school.
• HB 1080 – Vouchers for private school tuition funded with tax dollars owed to the state (tax credit scholarships).
• SB 2161 – Charter schools may locate in C districts without local approval; statewide open enrollment in charters; local and state funding follows the student.
• SB 2695 – Vouchers for private school tuition funded with tax dollars owed to the state (tax credit scholarships).
Ask your legislators to vote NO on these bills that increase government bureaucracy, weaken public schools, and put our children’s education at risk.
Click here to find contact information for all of the legislators who represent your school district.
Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves and Speaker Gunn:
Lt. Governor Reeves Capitol: 601.359.3200
Speaker Gunn Capitol: 601.359.3300
See all of the bills we are tracking here.
Tomorrow the Fed Up with 50th group will host their press conference on the second floor of the Capitol at 11:30 a.m. in support of public schools. If you can’t join them in person, you can show your support by texting, calling, tweeting, messaging on Facebook, and emailing your legislators, urging them to #SupportPublicSchools!