The Mississippi Department of Education has released the state funding allocations for each school district. The amount appropriated by the Legislature is far less than what is required by state law in the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP). Click here to see how much your schools are shortchanged this year and how much they have been under-funded since fiscal year 2009.
The last time the MAEP was fully funded was fiscal year 2008 (2007-2008 school year). Since fiscal year 2009, the Legislature has withheld from public schools more than $1.6-billion that state law says was needed to adequately educate our children. During that same time, state revenue has swelled, other state agency budgets have grown, and legislators have voted to funnel precious tax dollars to unaccountable private schools and to reduce available revenue through corporate tax cuts.
Even while schools have been starved of adequate resources, students and teachers have worked hard to improve achievement, embracing higher standards and increasing state test scores. Parents and educators are expressing extreme frustration with elected officials who have turned a deaf ear to their pleas to make good on the Legislature’s promise to provide fairly for our public schools. As Sen. Hob Bryan is fond of saying, “Money won’t guarantee success, but the absence of money will just about guarantee failure.”
Parents are looking toward the November election as an opportunity to start afresh next year with a more education-friendly Legislature. Click here to see how a few creative, motivated, and fed-up moms are using social media to encourage better support for public schools from our elected officials. What’s happening in your corner of the world? Can you enlist a few of your friends to join the effort to ensure strong public schools for our kids?
We at The Parents’ Campaign are putting together a plan of action for the coming months. In the near future, we’ll be sending you an Election 2015 toolkit, complete with the lifetime education voting records of your legislators, candidate listings, an opportunity to contribute to a candidate questionnaire, and suggestions for ways that you can get to know the candidates in your district ahead of the November Election.
Keep watching your email inbox for updates. In the meantime, get started spreading the word; there really is power in numbers! Ask your friends to sign up online to receive our emails (click here), and if you would like to have a representative of The Parents’ Campaign speak to a group in your community, reply to this email and let us know. We’d love to get to know you better.
And thanks, as always, for standing in the gap for our kids. They are mighty lucky to have you!