Northeast Mississippi Community College President Johnny Allen told the Community College Board in January that he was concerned about the potential impact of the amendment.

Allen, also president of the Mississippi Association of Junior and Community Colleges, said opinions divided on whether community colleges could lose all state aid, or just 25 percent to 30 percent.

“Regardless of your opinion of the effect, it will not be good,” he told the board. “The accessibility and affordability just goes right out the window. It has the potential to close a lot of community colleges around the state.”

Patsy Brumfield, a spokeswoman for pro-initiative group Better Schools, Better Jobs, said opponents are trying to “break public education apart.”

“I think they are wrong to think there is not enough money for all of us,” she said.

Better Schools, Better Jobs hasn’t been sitting still since the House and Senate passed the referendum alternative. The group, which raised $1.35 million through November, has bought full-page ads in newspapers handing out Fs to lawmakers who voted for the alternative. “These legislators failed your children,” the ads say. “They chose politics over our local schools.”

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