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Funding for Your Kid’s School: What Supporters Say Initiative 42 Means For Your Kids

JACKSON, MISS– The battle for funding public schools continues in November at the polls as folks vote over Initiative 42. 

It is a divisive issue in Mississippi that could determine the future of public education for kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Initiative 42 supporters say that the passing of it would require the state to be held accountable to fully funding public schools. If one is following the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula, that would mean a nearly 2 billion dollar increase in funding for k-12.

“We’re on the bottom in just about every category that matters,” says Patsy Brumfield, with 42 for Schools, “all the research we’ve ever done says that the best way to begin to improve our state’s chances for success is to fully educate our children.”

Brumfield says that in 1997, the state promised to fully funded education, and that only twice has that promise been kept. Initiative 42 would require the state to fully fund education as it would make education the right of every child in Mississippi to get a adequately funded public school education.

“Mississippi is the only state to have not done that,” says Brumfield, “in the last 8 years, the legislature has shortchanged our children by 1.7 billion dollars.”

Here’s the full interview with Brumfield:

The biggest concern for those questioning the funding of public schools is where that money would come from if 42 would to pass. District 102 candidate for state representative Taylor Brinkley says the money is there, but is not being used.

“I think the money is already there,” says Brinkley, “we have several hundred millions of dollars in the rainy day fund, it’s just our leaders don’t put public education as their top priority like they should.”

Brinkley says that lawmakers should be talking about increasing revenue that would cover the increase in funding.

“As far as the agency cuts, all I see are threats from our legislature,” says Brinkley, “that are unfounded and unsupported by facts. This is the same legislature that is threatening budget cuts if we fully fund education that attempted to remove in excess of $2 billion dollars in revenue over taking out state income tax.”

Here’s the full interview with Taylor Brinkley:

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