My Party is Public Education

Just when did educating our children become a divisive, political issue?

I have good news for you… it isn’t! Not among more than 64,000 parents, grandparents, and teachers in our network.

Overwhelmingly, our members are fed up with the attempts by some politicians to pit our children’s best hope for a decent future – their public schools – against other valuable state services. We are appalled at the misinformation, propaganda, and political threats being made in an unconscionable attempt to deny our children the same constitutional guarantee to a good education that is provided the children in every other state.

We parents have tried begging legislators to follow their own law and provide the adequate school funding – just adequate, mind you – that state law says our children are due, only to be rebuffed year after year after year.

We have trusted politicians who campaign on a promise to properly fund our children’s schools and too often have seen them, once elected, go back on their word. We have lost faith in a system that rewards elected officials who ignore the concerns of average Mississippians and, instead, do the bidding of corporate lobbyists who fill their campaign coffers with cash.

We have tried it their way, and it hasn’t worked. Chronic under-funding and lack of support from elected leaders are pushing our public schools further and further behind the schools in other states, and our children can’t wait any longer. It’s time for a change.

Partisan politics that put party before people are holding back our schools, our children, and our state.

We are mothers and fathers and grandparents and teachers who love our children and value their education, and we refuse to check their futures at the door of any political party. For us, our children’s education is not the least bit about political party or ideology. It is about their future.

Dr. Sam Bounds summed it up well: “My party is public education.”

Mine is, too. I believe that Mississippi children are as smart and gifted and valuable as the children in any other state in our country. And they deserve the same shot at success as do the children in every other state.

There are candidates in both political parties who consistently vote in the best interests of public school students. And there are plenty who do not. We cannot rely on political party to determine which candidates are aligned with our values and worthy of our votes. Recent events have made it clear that it’s more complicated than that. We must study legislators’ voting records, read their survey responses, and ask them the tough questions about where they stand – and how they will vote – on issues that matter to us and to our children. You can see what the candidates say about education issues here.

On November 3, I will vote for Initiative 42 and candidates who support my children’s right – and your children’s right – our children’s right to an adequate education.

My party is public education. And public education will get my vote every time. Will you join me?

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