Pro-initiative 42 group, 42 For Better Schools has announce seven forums are set for late summer for the public to hear pros and cons about Initiative 42. The initiative is a constitutional amendment to require the state to fully fund its part of K-12 schools. The forums will also present and discuss an alternative passed by the Legislature.
Initiative 42 supporters insist the Legislature’s alternative – which would not put any more money into public schools – is aimed at killing both measures because legislative leaders do not want the constitution to force funding promised by the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in 1997. The controversial MAEP formula has been fully funded only twice.
The pro-MAEP group claims that since 2009, school districts statewide have been short-changed nearly $1.7 billion – enough money for nearly 5,000 first-year teachers for 10 years, or 16.7 million textbooks, or 4,555 school counselors for 10 years, or 5.6 million classroom computers or 17,634 school buses.
Schedule for the 5:30 p.m. forums, hosted by the Secretary of State’s office:
• Aug. 11, Jackson – Jackson State University’s e-center
• Aug. 13, Hernando – Gale Center
• Aug. 17, Tupelo – Link Centre
• Aug. 20, Meridian – Temple Theater
• Aug. 27, Cleveland – Bologna Center
• Sept. 1, Hattiesburg – Jackie Dole Sherrill Community Center
• Sept. 3, Biloxi – Lynn Meadows Discovery Center