Friday, December 19, 2014

MAEP petition makes ballot.

Secretary of State Catbert Hosemann issued the following press release:

MAEP Petition makes the 2015 Ballot

Jackson— The MAEP Petition, or Initiative #42, obtained the sufficient number of signatures required to be placed on the 2015 General Election ballot.  Initiative #42 seeks to amend the State Constitution to require the full funding of education and grant the Chancery Court of Hinds County the power to enforce the full funding of education with appropriate injunctive relief. 

For the full language of Initiative #42, please click the following link:

Petitioners were required to gather a minimum of 107,216 certified signatures, with at least 21,444 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000.  The required number of signatures represents 12% of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election.


Avery Wiseman said...

Wonderful news for public education administrators! Once this passes, we can look forward to higher taxes, agency cutbacks, and/or both! Best of all, a Hinds County Chancellor will be Grand Poobah of Public Education in Mississippi. If voters in the other 81 counties approve this, then they deserve what they get.

Anonymous said...

Proposed language for State Legislature Alternative Ballot Measure: "Should the ultimate decision about how public education is funded be turned over to a Hinds County Chancellor?"

Anonymous said...

The MS dpt of Ed gets plenty of money.

They aren't fiscally responsible with what they are entrusted with. Giving them even more money won't fix anything. It will just pay for more overpriced "consultants" and create more 6 figure salary administration positions.

If the taxpayers would actually look at the amount of money education gets, then look at exactly how that money is spent, I don't think we'd see as many of these "fully fund maep" stickers around.

I have school age children and as long as I can afford it, they'll go to private school. I don't believe anyone at the department of education truly cares about doing what is best for the students in the public school system.

Anonymous said...

If you read the actual initiative, it says nothing about Chancery Court of Hinds County. It says the Chancery Courts of the States. All the legislators have to do is change their procedures if they want it to go to another Chancery Court. SOS just playing politics.

Anonymous said...

The initiative does not require that any litigation regarding funding be heard in Hinds County, merely that such litigation be heard in Chancery Court. Other state law requires
that suits against the state be heard in Hinds County. It is simple enough to change state law to allow any litigation regarding funding to be filed in Chancery Court in the juridiction of the plaintiff. And by the way, any such decision regarding funding will be appealed to the stare supreme court so that a single chancellor will not make the ultimate decision anyway. This is just a false argument being used by those who oppose the initiative.

Anonymous said...

Completely unnecessary! Our schools have consistently been among the best in the nation. How could you say the education Mississippi's students receive isn't already adequate? In fact, Mississippi's public schools should probably get less money.

Anonymous said...

Serious question from a Republican to Republicans.

What is the Republican Party end-game on Education in Mississippi?

Because all I see is a disjointed losing strategy.

So if someone can articulate the strategy I'd appreciate reading it.

Anonymous said...

" a Hinds County Chancellor will be Grand Poobah of Public Education in Mississippi."

Is that LaRoota's next position?

And if the jurisdiction can be changed why make it the the county where the plaintiff lives? Let's male all suits be heard in Jones County, home of the fringiest of the small government fringe. That would take the air out of the petition supporters' sails.

Anonymous said...

20, 25, 30 years from now Lange will still be circling everything back to his coffee table book of blog scraps about Scruggs.

Anonymous said...

If the wonderful folks that wrote this initiative had wanted it to be heard by local Chancellors, why didn't they include that in their language. Then it wouldn't depend on the action of the legislature to 'fix' the problem that this creates. And the 'simple fix' that is proposed above would open the door to thousands of other problems (lawsuit against Medicaid, or DPS, or any other agency being held in various locations - go back to forum shopping by the lawyers?) such that this 'simple fix' would never pass the legislature - and it shouldn't.

So - for those supporting this initiative and now putting forth this b/s about the Hinds County Chancellor, take your crap back home and put on the same shelf as your previous lying talking points - that this will not raise any taxes.

Cecil Brown said...

I love public education haters. They have no solutions; they blame teachers; they blame the state sept of ed; they blame Democrats; they ignore the fact that 90% of all kids (including 80% of all white kids) in Mississippi attend public schools. Everybody who lives in this state has a direct interest in the success of public schools. That is where your future employees, neighbors and community leaders get their education. How many times do you have to hear the business community tell you they cannot find enough well-educated, skilled workers before you believe them?

Init and Ref Works said...

Why are so many of you against 'the people' actually having a voice? The process available to us seems to be working. You just don't like that. You think you know what's best so to hell with the thoughts and rights of others to engage the process.

Anonymous said...

Legislature can place jurisdiction wherever they want to. Will end up in Supreme Court regardless. Will not raise taxes because funded solely by increases in general revenue. Per MEPC projections of 3% annual growth! will take until 2022 to reach funding level called for in 2015. Conservative effort to get to adequate funding. Alternatively, can let Legislature continue to muck about while 500,000 children wait for them to provide funds. Note that state "leaders" make no meaningful reform proposals. They just bitch.

Anonymous said...

Cecil Brown- I'm not a public education hater. I live in a school district that's rampant with nepotism and horrible choices made by the people who are in positions of power. I don't fault the teachers at all. The teachers do the best they can. My issue is with the administration, and the state dept of education.

The high school my children would go to is completely overcrowded and the last time they had a chance to rectify the serious overcrowding issue, they presented a bond issue with a jaw dropping amount of wasteful and unnecessary spending that didn't address the more urgent needs of the district. Not surprisingly that bond issue didn't pass.

It's not the teachers that I blame. It's the humongous class sizes, the overcrowded conditions, and the wasteful spending on bullshit jobs created for the superintendent's friends and family that are what cement my choice to send my kids to private school.

someoneinnorthms said...

Well, if more money bought better educated children, this would be dandy. I'm almost hopeful that it will pass so everybody will shut up about the whole damn thing. There is a baseline level of required funding. You gotta have some toilets and walls and paper. But, honestly, not much else. Of course, the federal government mandates some crap, but maybe we should forego their money so we can do this the right way. I went to school in a trailer because of hurricane damage. I had no problem learning.

It fascinates me that learned people scream so much about throwing money. I think it might be a good idea actually. Let's pass the damn thing, know the amount we have to pay (it's not a maximum, of course, but imposing the formula will be treated as a de facto maximum), elect legislators who will cut the fat out of all agencies except the Auditor's office, and then demand results from the education industry in five years or so. If money produces result, then we can throw some more at the problem. But, give it a timetable for "assessment" (the industry's key word). If it helps, great. We all benefit. If it fails, then let's honestly try to find out why Johnny can't read instead of pretending money will buy that skill.

Anonymous said...

Cecil, not supporting this initiative is not the same as hating public education. Nice try but no cigar.

For the reasons you state, and others, I support a good public education system. And a good private/parochial education system.

I would ask you your same question. Why do those that think the only solution to better educated kids in Mississippi is to keep on doing the same thing we have been doing, but only give it more money? Other proven systems - including as an example only - charter schools are constantly fought by those whose answer is "public education - more money".

As I know you know, charter schools as proposed in recent past years is another form of "public education". Yet it has been fought tooth and nails by many because it challenges the status quo - a system that in many (certainly not all) has failed us.

You want to gain more supporters for public education? I do. And I assume you do. Open up the discussion to something other than just 'more money' for the same system.

1982 was a great improvement to the status quo. It through out the baby and the bathwater and started over. Its time to consider doing that again and in the process move the money to where it is needed, not to the created bureaucracy. Then you would find many more supporters all pulling the same direction.

Bring Back Peanut Butter Cookies said...

Cecil: You're singing to the choir. Who has said they don't realize education is key to our future? Who have you seen post anything that suggests good education systems are wastes of time and money that will not benefit our communities?

You're floating pink herrons and green elephants. You're deflecting. You need attention and will say whatever you think will bring it.

A larger, more expensive bureacracy populated by many more rooms full of lackeys and failed classroom teachers will not help us. A larger budget with superintendents at the control switch will do nothing but waste more of our meager resources.

The State Department of Education and the crazy spider-web system we have of school districts are not unlike the US Department of Labor. It gets larger each year and its regulations and programs are more expansive, more controlling and have less oversight with each new or re-elected president.

Open a hardware store somewhere, Cecil, and please get out of the way. And climb down out of that Sycamore tree that you swear is a money tree.

Cecil Brown said...

Peanut butter,
Your comments prove my point. Rather than work on solutions, you want to rant about the system. By the way, it is always interesting that people who like to make the most noise want to remain anonymous. Merry Christmas peanut head.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Mr. Brown but the only "solution" you seem to be trumpeting -- and faulting others for not -- is that of additional funding.

I've always wondered how an underfunded school district like the one in Clinton can produce such outstanding students and results year in and year out. If you have any unique insights into their continuing successes please share them with us.

So here is a solution though I suspect you won't agree that it is:

Demand the same best practices actively employed in Clinton statewide, make the other school districts -- at all levels of the organzation -- face defined specific accountability metrics for doing so and produce 3 years of measurable positive results.

Do that and I will gladly support the expansion of tax dollars allocated to education even if it means a tax increase for my family.

Clinton is, supposedly, underfunded and very successful. You tell us Mr. Brown exactly why their model/approach isn't extensible throughout the rest of Mississippi.

Peanut Butter... said...

Cecil seems to really believe 'more money' meets the definition of a solution. How do we solve a problem? We pour money over it. Will Cecil tell us exactly which parts of the system would work better if more money were tossed at them? NO! He will not! All he will do is point fingers and bitch and gripe and criticize those who don't buy the 'money tree' theory.

I challenge Mr. Brown to complete this simple sentence: "One thing in our education system that will see improvement from an increase in funding is....."

Cecil Brown said...

Happy too, Peanut. Smaller classes, more AP courses, reinstatement of music, art, vocational ed courses, hiring back assistant teachers that have been laid off, repairing leaking roofs, repaving crumbling parking lots, replacing worn out equipment, adding pre-K classes, replacing worn out text books, adding language classes, hiring a school nurse, buying lab supplies for biology classes - just few. Now, see if you can complete this sentence: "My name is ...." Happy New Year Peanut.

Anonymous said...

Cecil- they could do many of the things you listed if they quit wasting money on these thousand dollar a day consultants (who are usually retired former administrators) and cut back on the sheer number of useless overpaid employees at the state dpt of education.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi has tried economic development by providing low wage, uneducated workers. We have tried "buying" jobs. Nothing less than a highly educated and trained work force will lift us off the bottom. Unfortunately, our leadership does not believe in the investment of human capital.

Calls For Accountability said...

Seems Mr. Brown is more interested in outing the names of people on the blog than he is in serious commentary.

The bullet-point list he laid out is nothing more than a list of many of the expectations the public has of the system. The system has multiple millions thrown at it every year. It's mismanaged, there are poor expectations in place and total lack of accountability.

Superintendents rarely get fired, teachers are dismissed only if their names appear on a police docket and the legislature allows more and more bullshit requirements to be poured over the heads of teachers and counselors each new year.

The autonomy of a school district is, in many respects, akin to that enjoyed by the Medgar Airport Board. They'll welcome millions while buying personal Ipads and phones and new desks for the admin building and creating new positions in which to shove relatives and those owed favors.

There is zero accountability in public education. Brown is part of the problem.

Anonymous said...


Fellow Rankin County parent here. I'm disgusted by the district's administration and the next election can't come soon enough. I've pulled my kids out and am now homeschooling until some major changes are made on Highway 80. I look over at Madison County and Clinton and wonder why Rankin can't get its act together. That A+ banner Rankin loves to plant in front of every school is a joke. Just wait until home values are affected by the lower test scores. Maybe Highway 80 will take educating our kids (especially those that are gifted) to heart.

Another poster suggested mandating Clinton's practices statewide. If one considers how successful they are at educating kids from all income backgrounds, that sounds like a great place to start.

Realist said...

Why is the predominately white Desota County School District....larger than Jackson's....operating on a school budget 80% the size of Jackson's, and scoring light years ahead of Jackson's??

Duh. Fix THAT. Cecil..

Cecil Brown said...

First about asking for names. If you are not willing to put your name on your ideas, it is hard to take you seriously. Second, if you will not identify youself you could be a 12 year old posing as an adult or a convict with a lap top.

Regarding employees at the state department: saving money by terminating state employees does nothing to help fund local schools. We have enough money to begin moving toward funding MAEP. It just takes commitment from the gov, lt gov and speaker. We are 12% below the amount necessary to provide an "adequate" education. Just think what effect a 12% cut to your household budget would have.

Anonymous said...

Nice job answering the easy question, Cecil. What about addressing the recommendation of another poster? Rolling out Clinton's methodology statewide?

Anonymous said...

First about asking for names. If you are not willing to put your name on your ideas, it is hard to take you seriously.

Then why do you continue to engage?

Second, if you will not identify youself you could be a 12 year old posing as an adult or a convict with a lap top.

Seriously? Did you think you were being funny?

Just think what effect a 12% cut to your household budget would have.

Are you so deluded in your righteousness to not consider that in this struggling economy there already are households up and down this state that have already cut their household budgets by 12% or even more?

The reservations voters in this state have about education funding -- as noted by many of the comments above -- are very real. Appreciate your weighing in here but it is hard to take you seriously when you insist on being flippant.

More From Peanut Butter said...

Cecil has now become a cheerleader for the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker to get behind his ideas. How long have Republicans held a majority in both houses and had a guy in the mansion? Wasn't Cecil in the legislature for eons before this magic date? Its always someone else's fault when you're in the bleachers with a pea shooter.

Answer the questions about Desoto and Clinton. And please address district consolidation, a politician's nightmare. And hurry up before Kingfish declares a moratorium on any more 'Cecil Bashing'.....

Realist said...

Why aren't you posting my last entry? Does the TRUTH get too sissy controversial?

Realist said...

He aready has 5:53. I have sent two scorchers he culled. Woosie.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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