Voters learn more about school funding initiative - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Voters learn more about school funding initiative

Voters will choose between Initiative 42 and 42-A on November's ballot to change the state Constitution about school funding. Voters will choose between Initiative 42 and 42-A on November's ballot to change the state Constitution about school funding.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Voters will have the chance in November to dictate the responsibility of the legislature to fund Mississippi's public schools.

Ballot Initiative 42, which was created after a petition was signed by nearly 200,000 Mississippi voters, seeks to require the state to fund Mississippi's public schools adequately and efficiently. If voters choose Initiative 42, it will also send the funding matter to chancery court should the state fail to fund education through the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).

On the flip side, the state legislature created an alternative to Initiative 42, called Initiative 42-A. It calls for the legislature to provide support of "effective" schools without judicial enforcement.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said it concerned him that the wording and titles of Initiative 42 and 42-A are similar.

"Everybody needs to read this," Hosemann said at a public forum in Hattiesburg Tuesday.

MAEP, which was created by the legislature in 1997, has only been fully funded twice. Supporters of Initiative 42 say this proposed change to the state's Constitution will hold lawmakers accountable for following a law their body created.

"It's a matter of economics more than it is just a matter of public policy and whether or not you're going to properly educate your children," Mississippi Department of Education board member Bill Jones said.

Jones, who is from Petal and a former legislator, said most legislators do not mind Initiative 42 because "it gives them a cover."

"They can blame it on the courts," Jones explained. "They can blame it on anybody but themselves."

Opponents of Initiative 42 believe it will require the state to pull money from other budgets to fund MAEP.

"The funding is not guaranteed," Jones County Junior College instructor Michael Boyd said. "They base this on future projections which may fall through."

Initiative 42 organizers say funding would come from the state's economic growth, not from other agencies.

Their website proposes 25 percent of the growth of the General Fund be put towards education, projecting full funding over six to seven years.

Hosemann said this is the first time the legislature has ever created an alternative to a ballot initiative. The alternative was lead by Representative Greg Snowden (R- Meridian).

With low turnouts in the August primary, Hosemann is concerned with the number of voters who will turn out for November, when this initiative and alternative will amend the Mississippi Constitution.

"We need to have more than half of the people vote on our Constitution," Hosemann said. "This is education. This is about your children, or your grandchildren, and how it's going to be funded."

The Secretary of State's office will hold two more public forums on Initiative 42 and 42-A this month. They will be in Gulfport on Thursday, September 3 in the WINGS Theatre at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center and in Brookhaven on Tuesday, September 8 in Lampton Auditorium at the Mississippi School of the Arts.

Copyright 2015 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Kool Smiles hosts 4th annual Sharing Smiles Day

    Kool Smiles hosts 4th annual Sharing Smiles Day

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:59 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:59:39 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    Children in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas were able to get free dental care during Kool Smiles 4th annual "Sharing Smiles Day" Sunday morning.

    More >>

    Children in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas were able to get free dental care during Kool Smiles 4th annual "Sharing Smiles Day" Sunday morning.

    More >>
  • The Flower Bed Nursery hosts 3rd annual Family Day

    The Flower Bed Nursery hosts 3rd annual Family Day

    Sunday, May 20 2018 6:49 PM EDT2018-05-20 22:49:25 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    The Flower Bed Nursery in Lumberton hosted its 3rd annual spring Family Day Sunday, May 20.

    More >>

    The Flower Bed Nursery in Lumberton hosted its 3rd annual spring Family Day Sunday, May 20.

    More >>
  • USM's Tori Bowie wins 100m title at Adidas Boost Boston Games

    USM's Tori Bowie wins 100m title at Adidas Boost Boston Games

    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:51:14 GMT
    On Sunday, Tori Bowie won the 100m race at the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games. (Photo Source: Adidas Boost Boston Games)On Sunday, Tori Bowie won the 100m race at the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games. (Photo Source: Adidas Boost Boston Games)

    With a run time of 11:05, Torie Bowie is the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games 100m champion. The race took place Sunday just after 2:00 p.m. on Charles Street in Boston.  "I was really excited about the race," said Bowie just moments after her win.  There's no stopping @toribowie! After her world record 150m last year, she takes the win in the 100m this year. 11.05 for Bowie FTW.#TakeChargeBoston pic.twitter.com/9HSdeWcTn8 — adidas Boost Boston (@a...

    More >>

    With a run time of 11:05, Torie Bowie is the 2018 Adidas Boost Boston Games 100m champion. The race took place Sunday just after 2:00 p.m. on Charles Street in Boston.  "I was really excited about the race," said Bowie just moments after her win.  There's no stopping @toribowie! After her world record 150m last year, she takes the win in the 100m this year. 11.05 for Bowie FTW.#TakeChargeBoston pic.twitter.com/9HSdeWcTn8 — adidas Boost Boston (@a...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly