Our students are our brightest light and proper funding for their education is paramount. Thank you for your calls, trips to the capital, and constantly reminding your elected representatives of their obligations to you and your students.
As we move forward from today, we must remain vigilant and know that a unified voice will be heard. This is not the last attempt at “reform”. However, when faced with the choice of reforms to education funding, remember, the only choice is full equity funding for public education in Mississippi.
Our sincere THANKS to all of the stakeholders who contributed to today’s vote.
We will continue to inform you and arm your community with information and facts to move the needle for full funding forward.
HB 957 is a collection of major acts of destruction toward public education. While divided into subsections, they point to the overarching theme of a scheme to systematically dismantle public education in Mississippi. Such acts, are consistent throughout HB 957 and work in concert to cheapen the value proposition of public education and strengthen the case silently for a rise in public charter schools.
HB 957 is proposing a starting base of per student funding at $4,800, which falls short of MAEP’s $5,358 (it should be noted that current funding is only done at $4,980 because MAEP is not fully funded).
By looking back to the original intent of MAEP, we find that in 2002-03 the proposed base funding amount was $3,804. That amount is not far from the contemplated wholesale reform amount of base costs of $4,800 under HB 957. Education reform in Mississippi is going backwards. Education funding has not progressed to meet the needs of all public-school students. Funding proposed in 2018 does not advance Mississippi to a competitive level of student achievement, but instead promotes inequity; attempting to move towards school choice instead of fixing the clear disparities caused by regressive funding over the span of 2002-2018.
House Bill 957 will set public education back by a decade or more in Mississippi, by lowering state costs and shifting the burden of costs to already stressed school districts.
We take this time to regroup and rejoin the fight with renewed focus:
A focus on equity for all students, regardless of zip code;
A focus on seeking concrete responsibilities for state funding that meets the true needs of students;
A focus on raising the bar of equality across all regions of the state;
A focus on how the national and state conversation are increasingly more hollow when considering poverty and race; concern for the least of these.
The battle is far from over. In the near term we are faced with bringing real solutions to bear, shining a light on the intended consequences of HB 957.
Now is the time to revisit MAEP and the true meaning of fully funded public education. With equity as the standard, we ask you to join us as we seek proper solutions to counter the dangerous proposals of HB 957.
Next week we will be shining a light on MAEP, Augenblick, and the rise of increasing tax burdens on local communities. With each we are building a path towards equity in public education solutions.
Stay tuned for new analysis, training and ways we can all join the fight..
House Bill 957-Filed by: Rep. Philip Gunn [R] & Rep. Greg Snowden [R] (Appropriations)
Stated plainly in Representative Gunn’s own words: ““If our workforce is well educated and trained, we’re going to prosper,” “If it’s not, we won’t.” Under House Bill 957, public education students will not prosper! House Bill 957 is a complete and dangerous rework of MAEP, that takes its cues from last years attempted rewrite through “EdBuild”. However, HB 957 is much more restrictive/punitive in both its funding formula and its severe impact on lower tax based districts…….