Every child in Mississippi has a fundamental right to a free and adequate public education. That means:
- Well-trained and well-paid teachers
- Safe and roadworthy school buses
- Enough new textbooks for every student to take home
- Reading coaches, computers and basic school supplies
- Classrooms that don’t leak when it rains
Initiative 42 is the only choice on the November ballot that will hold our state Legislature accountable for keeping its promise to fully fund public schools in Mississippi.
Our state Legislature passed a law in 1997 that promised us that each public school district in Mississippi would receive enough financial support to adequately fund every K-12 education program in our state. But our Legislature has gone back on that promise, only fully funding public schools twice in nearly 20 years.
The result is a $1.7 billion statewide shortfall since FY2009 – enough money to pay for:
- 4,871 first-year teachers for 10 years, or
- 16.7 million textbooks, or
- 4,555 reading coaches for 10 years, or
- 5.6 million computers, or
- 17,634 school buses
Nearly 200,000 Mississippians from every county and both political parties took a stand and signed petitions to have Initiative 42 placed on this year’s ballot to amend our state Constitution in a way that makes public education a priority instead of an afterthought. Our legislators didn’t listen to you, instead placing an alternative – a fake — initiative on your ballot that allows them to continue ignoring their own law to fully fund our public schools. The proposed alternative changes nothing and our schools will remain underfunded.
- Initiative 42 requires our legislators to fulfill their promise to make education funding a priority.
- Initiative 42 requires legislators to release our hard-earned tax dollars that we’ve already paid for our children’s public education.
- Initiative 42 allows the courts to hold our legislators accountable if they fail to follow their own law to fully fund our schools.
By voting for Initiative 42, you are voting for change; you are investing in the future of our children.