The House and Senate have passed a K-12 funding bill that is simply indefensible. Though revenue is at an all-time high, legislators chose to shortchange the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) by $255-million, providing only a $10-million increase in the MAEP. Instead of investing in our children’s future, they socked millions of our tax dollars away in the Rainy Day Fund.
This budget funds the MAEP $114-million below what was allocated in 2008, when less revenue was available than is today. You can see a breakdown of the total funding in the K-12 bill here.
The voucher bill, HB 765, has not yet come up for a vote. Thank you to the many, many members who have contacted legislators asking them to vote no on this bill. The vote will be close. If you haven’t yet contacted your legislators about this attempt to privatize and “profitize” public education, please do.
The supporters of the voucher bill have resisted every effort to include language that would ensure that children with special needs would be served in the private schools receiving voucher funds. They went to great lengths to make sure that the private voucher schools were not required to provide accommodations, adhere to an IEP, meet any quality standards, or even accept the voucher students who apply.
Public schools, on the other hand, have been and will continue to be the place where children with special needs – no matter what those needs are – are welcomed, embraced, and served. To risk diminishing that system so that a few kids can have their private school tuition paid for by taxpayers is simply unconscionable. Tell your legislators to vote “NO” on HB 765.
Teacher Pay Raise
A conference report on the teacher pay raise bill (HB 504) was filed tonight that provides a raise of $1,500 in July of 2014 and another $1,000 increase in July of 2015. The plan also calls for a school ratings-based merit pay plan to be implemented in 2016-2017. See more about the pay raise planhere.
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