Need Calls Today for K-12 Budget Fix

CALL TO ACTION: The Mississippi Legislature will reconvene at 1 p.m. today to take up legislation related to COVID-19. While they are in session, public schools need desperately for them to fix the K-12 budget mess caused by Gov. Reeves’ veto of public school funding.
 
Please ask your legislators to override Gov. Reeves’ veto of public school funding in HB 1700.
 
In early July, Gov. Reeves vetoed funding for the MAEP (teacher salaries), classroom supplies, special education, and other important programs while leaving intact funding for the Department of Education and vouchers for private school tuition.
 
Legislative leaders told Gov. Reeves prior to his veto of the education budget that they will appropriate additional funds to cover the School Recognition Program bonuses owed teachers for the 2018-2019 accountability ratings. 
 
Please be sure to thank your legislators for holding the line on cuts to the MAEP. While most state agencies saw cuts in the neighborhood of 3 to 5 percent, the MAEP was reduced by only 1.6 percent, demonstrating that it is a real priority for this Legislature. Gov. Reeves has argued that the MAEP funding in HB 1700 should be decreased, alleging that the Legislature increased MAEP funds by $40-million while other agencies saw cuts. The governor is wrong. MAEP funding was decreased in HB 1700, though not as drastically as other agencies’ budgets were cut. The governor’s confusion could stem from the fact that funding for the 2019 pay raise was included in the General Education budget for the 2019-2020 school year but is included in the MAEP budget for this school year and will be moving forward. Read more here.
 
Educators have been through so much! This unnecessary budget uncertainty only adds to the stress of a year already riddled with challenges. Let’s get the budget finalized for our teachers and children today. The Legislature is expected to get its work done quickly once it reconvenes, so please make those calls right away. Together, we’ve got this!