Initiative 42 gives Mississippi children the same right to education that the children in other states have had for decades
Every other state constitution in our country has a constitutional mandate regarding school funding. Other states also have some descriptor that defines a minimum level of quality regarding the schools that the state is responsible for providing. Mississippi’s constitution lacks both a mandate and a minimum level of quality.
Our constitution mandates only that public schools be free. That’s it, just free. So, the Legislature could abolish grades 9 through 12, they could completely decimate public schools by slashing their budgets in half, and none of it would be unconstitutional so long as the remaining schools are free. Initiative 42 seeks to change that by mandating that “adequate” support be provided. That is what parents are pushing for, and that is what opponents are fighting against – a constitutional right to an adequate education for Mississippi children.
It gets even better.
False claim: “Initiative 42 will require cuts to other agency’s budgets and/or a tax increase.”
Initiative 42 calls for a phase-in of full funding using only 25% of any new growth in state revenue. This was spelled out on every petition signed by each of the nearly 200,000 parents, educators, and community leaders who worked hard to get Initiative 42 on the November ballot.
25%? That might have been what they said it said but the "25% of any new growth in state revenue" claim appears nowhere in the language that would be inserted into the constitution. Its nice, it sounds pretty, but it doesn't mean anything because it will not exist in the constitution. PERIOD!!! It has no force of law. A Chancellor is more than free to ignore it and no appeals court will fault him for ignoring it.
So who was fearmongering? Who was lying? Stop education at ninth grade? Really? Not even the Bilbos and Barnetts tried that trick. This is simply ridiculous and is not taken seriously by any reasonable person. Read it for yourself either below or on the Parents Campaign website.