With 188K Signatures, Fair Funding Initiative Heads to MS Ballot

Attorney Luther Munford helps bring in boxes of
signatures to file with the secretary of state. 
Photo via Better Schools, Better Jobs.

After collecting more than 188,000 signatures, organizers in Mississippi have won a place on the state's November 2015 ballot for a fair school funding initiative. The Better Schools, Better Jobs campaign is hoping to use the ballot initiative to pass a constitutional amendment that would force the state Legislature to adequately fund the state's public schools.

From The Clarion-Ledger

"'Mississippi is 33 percent below the national average in per-pupil expenditures,' said Luther Munford, a Jackson attorney and longtime public education advocate. 'We are well short of the figures being spent in surrounding states. We are 23-percent short of Arkansas, and we are 13 percent short of Alabama. We think it's time we beat Alabama in something other than just football.'

The amendment would change Section 201 of the state Constitution to require the Legislature to fund an 'adequate and efficient' public education system. Proponents criticize lawmakers for failing to fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which the Legislature adopted in 1997 but has only fully funded twice. MAEP has been under funded by more than $1.5 billion over the last six years."

Better Schools, Better Jobs has done a tremendous organizing job over the past year to get this initiative on the ballot. Check out their Facebook page for some great photos from events and signatures drives across the state. And get excited for what these organizers will be doing to build support ahead of the November '15 elections!