Thank you to the wonderful volunteers all across Mississippi who fought so hard for our children. You are my heroes!
Although Initiative 42 did not pass, the vote was very close, despite voter confusion due to the intentionally convoluted ballot. There is all kinds of speculation about why the vote came down as it did. Here’s what we know for certain…
Clearly, Mississippians want the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) fully funded. With just a few more votes in each precinct, we would have won the day. Many of those who voted “no” on Initiative 42 have expressed that they want schools fully funded, and they are extremely frustrated with the Legislature’s failure to provide adequate resources to our public schools. They simply prefer a different method of meeting that goal. Parents in both camps expect our Legislature to go to work right away to figure out how they will ensure that our schools receive the resources that they are promised in state law.
Our legislative leadership wanted to keep full discretion on decisions regarding funding and policy for public education, and when Initiative 42 failed, they got their wish. That level of autonomy comes with a tremendous responsibility. Hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers who care deeply about this issue will be watching very closely to see what the Legislature does with that power.
I know you share my disappointment, but here’s what else you should know. You are not alone! The emails, text messages, and phone calls have been pouring in since last night…
“…while last night was definitely a setback, there are thousands of parents who are now united…to support our schools.”
“…don’t give up!”
“…we got their attention. They know they are being watched!”
“We aren’t even close to done, we’re only getting started.”
“…I pray that legislators will at least start listening now.”
I could fill pages with the wonderful messages from parents who are ready to pick themselves up and get back to work to ensure that every Mississippi child has a shot at a bright future. You have my word that we at The Parents’ Campaign are right there with you! We have no intention of backing up on our fight to ensure strong public schools for our children, and we are already planning our next steps.
Legislators said repeatedly during this campaign that their job is to represent you and that they want to be your voice at the Capitol. That’s where you can help us. Legislators can’t possibly be your voice if they aren’t listening to you. Start thinking about what you can do in your community to ensure that your legislators’ votes reflect the will of the people they were elected to serve. We will be working on that as well.
We have a new Legislature that has asked for our trust. The fastest way for them to earn the trust of Mississippi parents is for them to do right by our children – all of our children. I know that I can count on you to make sure they do just that. What a blessing!