RED ALERT: HB 957 Slashes Special Education Funding

Posted 2/28/18

The latest revelation about the devastating nature of HB 957 is that it will slash funding for children with special needs. HB 957 would send 102 school districts even LESS special education funding than they got this year.

The leadership wants you to believe that this bill is good for students. How could it possibly be good for students to pass a law that would give them:

  • fewer special education resources

  • fewer teachers and larger class sizes

  • fewer textbooks and less technology

  • fewer electives, advanced courses, and career-tech options

  • LESS of every single thing that school funding provides

HB 957 is about one thing and one thing only: reducing the funding that state law says the Legislature should spend on public schools. Even an UNDERfunded MAEP provides more funding for our schools than does HB 957.

This is a defining moment for public education. Please make sure your legislators understand that parents and teachers will not forget this vote.

Ask senators to vote NO on HB 957!

Find contact information for senators.

Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770

Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves. Capitol: 601.359.3200

Kudos to The Clarion-Ledger reporter Bracey Harris for uncovering what is just the latest of numerous ways that HB 957 hurts children (see article on special education funds). There's no telling what other negative consequences are hidden in this bill. The leadership simply has not been forthcoming with legislators or the public about its real impact - perhaps because they don't know. This bill is ill-conceived and poorly vetted. Our children deserve a better effort than this shoddy approach to such an important issue.

HB 957 will:

  • Shortchange public schools by $292-million or more. Every school district loses. See your school district's loss.

  • Send schools LESS special education funding than they got this year.

  • Provide even LESS funding than what schools would receive if the Legislature continued underfunding school districts at the same rate that it has for the last six years.

  • Put at risk millions more in funding for Career-Tech, Buildings and Buses, and other programs that are omitted from the Senate list of items to be funded outside of the formula.

  • Make it easier to convert public school funding into vouchers for private school tuition.

The vote on HB 957 is expected tomorrow (Thursday). Please ask everyone you know to call or text the senators who represent your school district (we're told emails are ineffective), share our Facebook posts, and retweet our tweets. If you've already called, call again. Already posted on social media? Post again.

Our children are more than worth it. They are counting on us, and together, we've got this!