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Better Schools, Better Jobs: Parents Campaign Launches Virtual Rally Today

JACKSON, Miss.–The amendment to the state constitution that would  require the state to provide for schools, based on the discretion of a Hinds County chancery judge, is the subject of a “virtual rally” being launched today with the support of the Mississippi Parents Campaign.

If you support the Better Schools, Better Jobs amendment that would be added to the constitution with a vote, the Campaign’s website is urging you to use social media to bombard lawmakers with messages that they should not create an alternative ballot initiative that could split the vote.

“Use your smart phone, computer, or other device to ‘message’ your legislators in every way possible. When we all email, call, tweet, Facebook, Instagram…you name it…they won’t be able to ignore us any longer. Although you won’t be there in person, your message will reach the Capitol loud and clear!” said the Parents Campaign website.

“Their plan is two-pronged: to advance the convoluted misinformation campaign that is already in full swing by the anti-public school crowd and to employ a never-before-used maneuver to doom our amendment before the public ever has a chance to vote on it. Their maneuver would place on the ballot – alongside the people’s amendment – a phony legislative alternative, with a goal of confusing the issue and making it impossible for either amendment to garner enough votes for passage,” reads the website.

Forest Thigpen, of the Miss. Center for Public Policy, said his group opposes the amendment because they believe the authority for funding public schools would be taken away from the legislature and given to the chancery court.

“If the state were sued because they weren’t fully funding education, if you sue the state, it’s done in Hinds County,” he said.

He said the legislature would be completely out of the funding process.

“According to the way this is written, maybe not the way they even intended it…the legislature is scratched through. The legislature wouldn’t even be able to guide how the money is spent because they wouldn’t have the constitutional authority anymore to do it.”

Lawmakers may expect to be bombarded with Tweets and messages, according to the Campaign.

“More than 200,000 Mississippi taxpayers responded this year by signing a petition to guarantee our children a right to an adequate education via an amendment to the state constitution. More people signed that petition than have signed any petition for any other citizen-led initiative in the history of our state, including voter ID, personhood, and eminent domain. That’s a pretty strong statement by the taxpayers of Mississippi.”

The first full day of the 2015 session is today.

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