BY: Bobby Harrison | Daily Journal
The Better Schools, Better Jobs group was formed because since it was fully enacted in 2002, MAEP has been fully funded only twice – both election years. And in recent years, the state has fallen further behind in its commitment to local school districts.
At this point, the state’s top two Republicans, Gov. Phil Bryant and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who will be running for re-election in 2015, have voiced at least reservations about the citizen-sponsored initiative or have expressed downright opposition.
Most Democrats, on the other hand, have expressed support for the proposal, which would put into the Mississippi Constitution stronger language in terms of the state’s responsibility to provide an adequate and efficient education to Mississippi students.
As the coming vote on the education initiative unfolds during the 2015 election season, there also is speculation that some Republican officeholders might be challenged in the primary by Tea Party favorites.
The euphoria of near-victory followed by the devastation of a close loss to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the this past summer’s Republican primary by state Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite, has buoyed speculation of Tea Party candidates possibly challenging incumbent Republicans in 2015.
Reeves and perhaps some incumbent state legislators are viewed as possible targets of Tea Party supporters.
What possibly could change the dynamics of state elections is if a group of Republican candidates run and campaign as being supporters of the education funding initiative.