The school funding initiative known as Better Schools, Better Jobs could be on the ballot with a legislative alternative, according to Patsy Brumfield, Better Schools, Better Jobs communications director.

Initiative officials have said they fear an alternative could end up being bad news for their attempts to fully fund education by causing confusion among voters and splitting the vote.

Brumfield appeared before the Hattiesburg American’s editorial board Wednesday, along with superintendents and other officials from school districts in Forrest and Lamar counties.

Better Schools, Better Jobs is a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee adequate funding of K-12 education in Mississippi. More than 200,000 signatures were collected and about 122,000 were certified, qualifying the initiative for the ballot in November.

Brumfield said the initiative will be presented to the Legislature on the first day of the session in January. She fears lawmakers will propose an alternative to Better Schools, Better Jobs and put a competing measure on the ballot.

“That is our next hurdle,” she said. “Since (about) 1992, five or six initiatives have made it onto the ballot. None has ever faced an alternative. We believe that is just a dirty trick.

“What we are facing now is to kill any alternative.”

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