If you care about teacher salaries, public school funding, pre-k, or myriad other state services, you will want to pay attention to the legislative hearings scheduled for this Wednesday and Thursday.
House Speaker Philip Gunn has proposed a plan that will reduce the state revenue that pays for the MAEP and other public school funding. Gunn’s plan eliminates the state income tax, raises sales taxes, and leaves public schools and other service providers with less funding than they would have without the tax swap.
The Clarion Ledger recently published a column about the flawed proposal written by Nancy Loome, executive director of The Parents’ Campaign.
Here’s how Rep. Trey Lamar, who is spearheading the House effort, explained the Speaker’s tax proposal: “Over the last decade, our General Fund revenue has grown about 3.2%. Under this plan, we allow up to 1.5% of that growth to go for increased spending…everything else will go to eliminate the individual income tax.”
They want to cut in half our state’s annual increase in revenue, despite the fact that the current annual increase has been insufficient to fully fund public schools or pay teachers a decent salary.
A Joint Tax Study Committee will meet to consider the impact of the proposal at 9:00 a.m. this Wednesday and Thursday, August 25 and 26, in Room 216 of the State Capitol. The hearings will be live-streamed on the Legislature’s YouTube channel.
The Speaker’s tax cut proposal would ensure at least another decade of low teacher salaries and underfunded schools. If you would rather see legislators follow through on their promises to make teacher salaries competitive in the Southeast and continue improvements in public education, please let them know that.
Download, print, and share our 5 REASONS handout, and encourage your family and friends to reach out to their legislators.
Our children and teachers are counting on us, and together, we’ve got this!