Legislators Chose to Underfund Your Schools. See How Much.

At last August’s Senate tax cut hearings, the message from Mississippi’s business and industry leaders and the community at large was clear: DO NOT CUT TAXES; INVEST MORE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. Then, we asked you to call. And you did. Thousands of you called and urged your legislators to pay the debt they owe our children before considering tax cuts.

Legislative leaders insisted they could do both – cut taxes AND keep their promise to fund our children’s schools. Despite deep opposition from every corner of the state, legislators passed the largest tax cut in Mississippi’s history. And then promptly broke their promise to children once again.

The MAEP allocations by school district have been released, and you now can see the damage that legislators’ broken promise has done to your local schools: your school district’s MAEP allocation.

Public schools statewide are shorted $279-million for the coming year – enough for 5,000 additional teachers.

In the past, legislators have claimed that there simply wasn’t enough money to fully fund our public schools. We now know that isn’t true. Underfunding public schools is their choice. 

In just over a year, we voters will have a choice – one that could pay huge dividends for public school students. 2023 is an election year. It’s past time for us to choose legislators in every House and Senate district who choose our children’s well-being. That starts with strong candidates, top-flight communication, and excellent organization. Public education supporters made good progress in electing pro-public schools legislators in 2019, and we must build on that work in 2023. What part will you play in ensuring a bright future for Mississippi children? You could be the difference-maker for your community – reply to this email with Count on me in 2023 and we’ll be in touch about next steps.

Speaking of making a difference, kudos to the Mississippi Optometric Association and the Mississippi Vision Foundation for providing free eye exams to third graders who do not pass the state reading assessment and who are not covered through private insurance. All children who fit the criteria, regardless of their family’s ability to pay, can be seen by participating optometrists through July 31. Families can get additional details at http://www.msvisionfoundation.org/ or by calling 601.572.0845. Parents must take with them to the appointment the letter they received notifying them that the student did not pass the literacy assessment.

In the coming months, please reach out to your legislators and urge them to make our children their priority. If we have money for tax cuts, we have money for our children’s education. It’s time to fully fund our public schools, and your voice can make the difference. Together, we’ve got this!

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