Ballot initiative would require fully funding schools

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Democratic primary is finished and we congratulate Travis Childers, candidate for U.S. Senate and Matt Moore, candidate for the 4th Congressional District.  We now turn our attention to the November General Election and our Democratic platform.

We have already discussed raising the minimum wage.  This article will look at fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. (MAEP)  MAEP passed in 1997 to fully fund K-12 education. Unfortunately this has only been accomplished 2 years since its creation, during Gov. Musgrove’s administration.  In fact, MAEP will be under funded this year by $250 million.  The state has provided the money to cover the new teacher pay raises but did not address the problem of increased salaries as teachers move up the pay scale.  The cost of conducting daily school business has also increased including insurance.  At the urging of the governor, the legislature put this year’s surplus revenue into the “Rainy Day” fund rather than giving a percentage to MAEP.  The result is the loss of positions and programs vital to a well-rounded student.  Recently, Mississippi was named the most corrupt state based on how our budget prioritizes spending. Apparently, our budget favors corporations/tax incentives for jobs promised but not delivered over education and social programs.

The advocacy group, “Better Schools Better Jobs,” ( is advocating a ballot initiative to make public education a state priority.  The initiative would put a Constitutional Amendment before the voters as early as November 2015 to fully fund MAEP.  It would require the legislature to use 25% of new growth in revenues for MAEP.  Funding means more teachers, retaining quality teachers, new textbooks, technology and other resources to provide a quality education. To achieve this goal 110,000 signatures must be gathered by October 2014.  Our local Democratic party has adopted this as one of our projects and have petitions designated for Pearl River County. We are asking all registered voters in Pearl River County to show their commitment to our children and help us circulate the petition.  If you are interested in helping gather signatures, contact the Democratic Party at 601-746-6020 or email to

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Watch for our Party booths at county activities this summer as we register voters and gather signatures.

We welcome all Democrats and like-minded members of our community to join us.

Our website is now in full swing and can be accessed at

Our web master updates it regularly.

By Agnes Dalton