With an extra $1-billion to spend, the willingness – or unwillingness – of legislators to invest fully in our children’s futures will tell us where they really stand in their commitment to our public schools.
School leaders are at their wits’ end as they look for any extra room in their chronically underfunded budgets to cover the escalating costs of fuel and supplies, desperately trying to avoid cuts to staff and programs.
At the same time, school funding negotiations have been a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs over the weekend.
THANK YOU to the thousands of you who are not giving up – who continue to check in with your legislators urging full funding of our public schools. You are reporting the same thing we are hearing from rank and file legislators: they want to fully fund public schools.
Just yesterday, Senate Education Chair Dennis DeBar reiterated his hope that schools will be fully funded this year.
The hang-up continues to be with the House leadership, and many of you have expressed deep disappointment in quotes from them that were reported over the weekend. We share your disappointment. The good news is that they are continuing to negotiate, and the word is that there is still hope for significantly increased school funding. I agree with you that it is absurd that there is any question at all with so much state revenue pouring in.
Your calls are making a difference – please keep them going!
Please text or call your legislators today. Urge senators to stand strong, and urge representatives to insist that their leadership allow the full body to vote on a bill that fully funds our children’s schools. Our message to legislators:
We know the money is there, and we want our tax dollars used to fully fund our public schools.
Do not end the 2023 Legislative Session until that is done.
Find contact information for legislators who represent your school district
Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
Speaker Philip Gunn: 601.359.3300
House Appropriations Chair John Read: 601.359.3340
Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann: 601.359.3200
Senate Appropriations Chair Briggs Hopson: 601.359.3250
As you call legislators today, please thank Senate Education Committee members for declining to confirm a school choice lobbyist to the State Board of Education. Gov. Reeves’ most recent nominee is currently employed by a school choice organization in Tennessee, has lobbied for vouchers, and has spoken and written disparagingly about public schools. The Senate Education Committee was right to deny her a position on the board that governs our state’s public schools, and they did so despite intense pressure from Gov. Reeves to confirm her. That is the kind of staunch support for public schools that we should expect from our elected leaders.
I know that you all join me in mourning the loss of life, homes, and livelihoods across our beautiful state. Recovery from these devastating storms will be long term, and we stand with our sisters and brothers as they rebuild their lives. Damage to public school facilities in affected areas only adds to the struggles that these districts already faced. We urge legislators to do all in their power to make them whole and to provide long-lasting, meaningful support to these communities.
Please do text or call your legislators today. Our children and teachers deserve our fierce support to get full funding to their public schools. Ask others to call, as well. Your voice matters a lot, and together, we’ve got this.
Nancy Loome, Executive Director