The House of Representatives passed the school funding bill today. HB 1643 provides no increase in the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), under-funding schools by $172-million, and cuts the overall K-12 budget by about $7.6-million.
Nearly every state agency has its funding reduced in this budget, due to revenue shortfalls caused by years of corporate tax cuts.
Each appropriation bill includes a requirement for additional, proportionate, across-the-board cuts should the House pass more tax breaks in this session that would cause a reduction in revenue. Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford proposed an amendment to exempt the MAEP and the Schools for the Blind and Deaf from those additional cuts. Rep. Gary Chism moved to table, or kill, that amendment, and the motion to table passed on a vote of 71 to 45, defeating the effort to protect the MAEP from further cuts. See how your representative voted here.
At the same time that the House was lamenting the current budget shortfalls, the Senate Finance Committee passed SB 2858, yet another massive tax cut package that would further reduce state revenue by nearly $600-million. In a year when our state cannot meet its obligations to fund public schools and protect children in our foster care system, any action to further reduce state revenue is unconscionable.
Please ask senators to vote NO on any tax cut bill, including SB 2858.
Find contact information for the senators who represent your school district.
Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves, Capitol: 601.359.3200
Clinton mom Jane Howell describes the hardships schools suffer when they are underfunded, some more so than others:
We will continue to watch bills as they come up in committee and move through the process, and will alert you to those that need our quick attention. Thanks so much for being on our team!