JACKSON, Miss.–Two press conferences are set for today by Mississippi’s former governor, Ronnie Musgrove, to discuss a lawsuit that he has been gearing up to take to court. The suit is against your state for not fully funding the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
Musgrove has been traveling the state to try to sign school districts up for the suit, which would force the state to pay out $1.5 billion. That’s how much Musgrove says the state should have paid school districts in the years that MAEP has not been fully funded.
Thursday’s press conferences are in Jackson and Hattiesburg.
Musgrove was instrumental in getting the MAEP legislation passed and has claimed that the state has neglected its duty to fully fund the program.
Fellow Democrat and MAEP supporter, and former governor William Winter, said he does not support the lawsuit in a speech at the Neshoba County Fair.
“The people of Mississippi in 1982 made a historic decision to place a higher priority on education. The passage in 1997 of the Miss. Adequate Education Program was a huge step forward. The problem is that only twice since its passage has it been fully funded. We’ll never catch up on that basis. But rather than filing a lawsuit, I support the Constitutional amendment that has been proposed, and hopefully will be on the ballot next year to require annual adequate funding,” he said.
Musgrove’s claim is that legislators have been stingy and have had the money to fund the program. Now he is wanting it in a lump sum, and he, along with his fellow attorneys on the case, would stand to collect substantial contingency fees if the amount he’s seeking were to be paid out.