Congratulations on a terrific #handsoff42 Virtual Rally! Your message was delivered loudly and clearly, and that is good news for Mississippi children. Legislators report that they were astounded at the number of people who emailed, called, texted, and posted on social media in support of Initiative 42. You are truly amazing!
You made it clear that, overwhelmingly, Mississippians want to live in a state that values our children and is willing to invest in their futures like other states invest in their children. Thank you! What you did was important.
We have two more favors to ask…
1. Hang with us. This is predicted to be a brutal legislative session for public education. The privatization forces are out in full force, and they’ve got lots of money to spend in their attempts to woo elected officials. We are going to need you again and again to push for decent funding for our schools and to push back against the drive to send those dollars, instead, to private academies and for-profit schools through vouchers and tax-credit “scholarships.”
2. Keep it on the high road – just like you did during the virtual rally. We were exceedingly proud of the way our members responded to the attacks on public schools coming from the privatization pushers who were obviously reacting to your terrific presence on social media. You countered their misinformation and spin with facts, research, and well-reasoned, thoughtful support of our children and their schools.
Since The Parents’ Campaign was founded in 2006, one of our core values has been to center on that high road. It is our policy (and principle) to discuss and evaluate legislation, not legislators, and policy positions, not people. We are fully committed to sharing the truth about the impact that legislation and policy positions have on our children, and we believe strongly that you deserve to know how your legislators vote on those issues.
We learned a LOT this week. Interesting information comes out when the public truly engages those whom we elect to lead us. One of the things we learned is that there is an awful lot of misinformation circulating and that, in many cases, elected officials simply don’t have all the facts. We hope that they also will take the high road, take a deep breath, and take a minute to learn more about issues that are critically important to our kids. Like the fact that the BSBJ amendment would not take a penny from any other state agency – it proposes to use 25% of growth in new revenue each year to increase education funding until it hits an adequate level – whatever the Legislature defines as adequate.
If you have questions about school funding, the state budget, student achievement, or other important education issues, please explore this web site or that of The Parents’ Campaign Research and Education Fund.
You’ll be hearing lots more from us for the next couple of months as the 2015 Legislative Session progresses. We are going to need your help to ensure that our children and their schools are provided what they need to be successful and that public schools remain public. From what we saw this week, you are ready for that challenge! What a blessing it is to have you standing up for our kids.