We need your help to defeat HB 989.
HB 989 is hostile to public schools. It would limit your local school board’s authority to raise the revenue needed to provide the school programs and services important to your community.
Please ask your representative to VOTE NO on HB 989.
Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
For the Legislature to underfund the MAEP and then limit the ability of districts to raise the revenue they need at the local level would be unconscionable. If we want our children to continue to compete well with their peers across the country, we must provide them the resources to do so. Our neighboring states of Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee outspend Mississippi on K-12 education by an average of $1,200 per student.
HB 989 prohibits local school boards from raising ad valorem taxes for the support of the school district when the district’s state, local, federal, and other funds exceed the minimum in state and local funds called for in the MAEP formula. Because the MAEP doesn’t address funds other than state and local, this bill would force school districts to operate with less funding than what the state formula assumes they would be provided from all sources.
NOTE: When HB 989 was presented in committee, members were told that the MAEP formula establishes what a district’s entire budget should total (including federal and other funds). This is false. The MAEP formula establishes the minimum in state and local funds only that a school district needs in order to meet mid-level accreditation standards. All school districts receive additional federal and other funds that are not included in the formula and that are critical to meeting the needs of students, particularly those in low-wealth communities.
Tomorrow – Thursday – is the deadline for the House to take up this bill, so please call right away. Ask your friends and family to call, too.
Some good news for which you can thank your legislators: HB 1139 – Community Schools – passed unanimously in the House today, and SB 2286 – Expand Early Learning Collaboratives – passed the Senate earlier this week. Both of these are bills we support.
Please be sure to make those calls. Our kids are counting on us, and together, we’ve got this!