Archived 2015 "Recent News" Posts  

New Service Coming Soon

Posted 12/29/2015

You asked for it, and we intend to deliver! Post-Initiative 42, we have heard from many members who are energized and ready to take the campaign for strong public schools to the next level. They've asked for quick, easy tools to help them engage with legislators and track their votes on important education issues like school funding. Very soon, we'll unveil a new system that will make it a snap for you to see your legislators' votes and share them with your friends. Happy New Year!

State Test Scores, Budget Recommendation Released

Posted 12/18/2015

Scores from last spring's state testing have been released, very much in line with expectations. Also this week, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee released its budget recommendation for the coming year. It includes cuts for almost every state agency. Read more here.


Posted 11/24/2015

We at The Parents' Campaign wish you a very happy Thanksgiving holiday! As we count our blessings, we are exceedingly thankful for the thousands of you who stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the fight for strong public schools for every Mississippi child.
What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy. —John Dewey, educational philosopher, The School and Society, 1907

Budget Cuts Possible Due to Corporate Tax Breaks

Posted 11/19/2015

Mississippi's Legislative Budget Committee met Monday and made it official: the state isn't taking in as much revenue as was estimated when legislators adopted this year's budget back in the spring, so budget cuts could be on the table in the coming months. Why? Largely because of corporate tax cuts that the State Legislature has passed during the last four years. Meanwhile, the 500,00 children in Mississippi's public schools are going without textbooks, learning in overcrowded classrooms, and traveling to school in buses far past their prime. Will the corporate lobby get its way again in 2016?
Read more here.

Good News

Posted 11/12/2015

The outsized impact of corporate lobbyists, out-of-state money, and political threats has drowned out the voices of the people of Mississippi. We are committed to reversing that impact so your voices are reflected in your legislators' votes. Find out how you can help and read the good news about our students' test scores here.

Thank You!

Posted 11/4/2015

Thank you to the wonderful volunteers all across Mississippi who fought so hard for our children! Although Initiative 42 did not pass, the vote was very close. With just a few more votes in each precinct, we would have won the day. State leaders have insisted that the Legislature should retain full discretion over education decisions, with no judicial oversight, and the defeat of Initiative 42 grants them that wish. With such autonomy comes tremendous responsibility for the future of our children. Read more here.

Our Children Need Your Vote Today

Posted 11/3/2015 

Our children's futures depend on your vote today - on Initiative 42 and for an education-friendly Legislature. Can they count on you? Do you know how to mark your ballot in favor of Initiative 42? Two steps are required. First, you must vote to amend the constitution (FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER), then you must vote FOR Initiative Measure No. 42. Read more about today's election here.

Can't Touch This!

Posted 11/2/2015

Have you seen our Yes for Initiative 42 video? MC Hammer gave the video and Initiative 42 a shout-out on Twitter. Check it out. Have you done all you can to ensure that an education-friendly Legislature is elected tomorrow? Click here to find out how you can help Mississippi's children get a big win on Election Day.

An Issue of Trust

Posted 10/31/2015

Whom do you trust to act in the best interests of Mississippi's public school children? Corporate lobbyists and politicians? Or the moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, and friends of education supporting Initiative 42? On Tuesday, we can elect legislators who agree with us on important issues like educating our children. Read more here.

Congratulations, Mississippi Students and Teachers!

Posted 10/28/2015

Mississippi's fourth-graders led the nation in improvement in reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and our eighth-graders bested the national trend as well. Congratulations to our students and teachers! Just imagine what they could accomplish if our state invested in Mississippi schools to the extent our law requires. You can help move us in that direction by voting FOR Initiative 42 on November 3. Read more here.

Former Supreme Court Justice, Law Professors Set Record Straight on Initiative 42

Posted 10/22/2015

Opponents of Initiative 42 have flooded mailboxes and living rooms with deceitful ads and unfounded claims about what the amendment will and will not do. In response, legal experts - including a former Supreme Court Justice and a long list of law professors - have released statements refuting the grossly inaccurate information coming from anti-42 politicians and lobbyist groups. Read more here.

My Party is Public Education

Posted 10/8/2015

Just when did educating our children become a divisive, political issue? Good isn't! Not among more than 64,000 parents, grandparents, and teachers in our network. For us, our children's education is not the least bit about political party or ideology. It is about their future. Dr. Sam Bounds summed it up well: "My party is public education." Read more here.

Will Initiative 42 Hand New Authority to a Judge?

Posted 10/1/2015

Will Initiative 42 give a judge new authority to appropriate education funds and write education law? No, of course not. That's just one of many scare tactics school funding opponents have dreamed up in their shameful scheme to deny our children a constitutional right to an adequate education. Read more here.

K-12 News is Good; Politics as Usual at Budget Hearings

Posted 9/22/2015

The State Board of Education shared good news at yesterday's budget hearing regarding student achievement, but state leaders used the two days of budget hearings as an opportunity to campaign against adequately funded schools, turning the hearings into a side show of anti-Initiative 42 rhetoric. Read more here.

Political bullying or visionary leadership?

Posted 9/21/2015

Today and tomorrow, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) will hold hearings that will set in motion the state budgeting process. Funding for our children's schools through the Mississippi Adequate Education Program will almost certainly be hotly debated. Will committee members continue down the path of bullying state agency heads regarding Initiative 42 or will they demonstrate statesmanship and craft a budget that ensures adequate services for all Mississippians? Read more here.

What Teachers CAN do for Initiative 42

Posted 9/18/2015

Despite the threats and intimidation tactics of state leaders, it is perfectly LEGAL for educators to campaign for Initiative 42, as long as they do it on their own time and use their own resources. Find out the rights and limitations of state employees (including teachers) here.

Initiative 42 Ballot Adopted

Posted 9/9/2015

The official ballot for Initiative 42 has been approved. See how to vote yes for Initiative 42 and a bright future for our kids (and stand up to the bullies who keep picking on our schools). Read more.

Anti-education Politics Threaten K-12, Community Colleges, and IHL

Posted 9/3/2015

State leaders are using a divide and conquer strategy, pitting community colleges and universities against K-12 in their attempt to defeat Initiative 42. Click here to find out why.

Legislative Leaders Admit Tampering with Official LBO Analysis of Initiative 42

Posted 8/27/2015

Legislative leaders have admitted their involvement in having the statutorily-required fiscal analysis of Initiative 42 changed to reflect the talking points of those opposed to its passage. The State Board of Election Commissioners will meet sometime in the next 10 days to decide if the politically-manipulated wording will be included on the November ballot. Read more here.

Important Runoff Elections on Tuesday, August 25

Posted 8/21/15

On Tuesday, August 25, there are important runoff elections for House and Senate races across Mississippi. Profiteers who want to cash in on our children's education dollars are working hard to take over our Legislature. We need your help to elect legislators who will support your local schools with their votes, not those who will rubber stamp a national, profit-driven agenda for public education. Your vote on Tuesday could make the difference. See more at our Facebook page.

The Good and the Bad from the Primary Election

Posted 8/6/15

The primary election was a mixed bag for Mississippi children. There were some big wins, with pro-public school candidates prevailing over privatizers. In other races, out-of-state PAC money from Washington D.C. defeated staunch public school supporters. The lesson for November is clear. If we want strong public schools in Mississippi, we are going to have to step up. Read more here.

Beginning next week, forums will be held around the state on Initiative 42; please take this opportunity to support our children. See the forum schedule and locations here.

So, Which Candidates Support Public Schools?

Posted 8/3/15

Our children need your vote! Before you head to the polls, be sure to check out candidates' answers to tough education questions asked by our members - and incumbent legislators' voting records on education. You can find all of that on our Election 2015 Candidate Q&A site. Read more here about what else you can do to help elect legislators who support our public schools.

Read This Before You Vote on Tuesday

Posted 7/31/15

Some of our elected officials are traveling the state claiming that things are just great when it comes to education funding - meanwhile, K-12 funding's share of the total state budget has shrunk again for the third consecutive year, to a historic low in FY2016 of 21%. Since FY2008, funding for K-12 has increased by 2.47%, while the rest of the state budget has increased by 47.64%. Voters deserve to know the facts. Read more here.

The Next Six Days Are Critical for Our Children

Posted 7/29/15

Out-of-state profiteers are pouring money into coffers of candidates they recruited for the sole purpose of privatizing our public education system - so that they and their cronies can cash in. We can stop them, but the August 4 primary election is key. Before next Tuesday, we must learn who the education-friendly candidates are, tell everyone we know, and vote in the primary election! You can help pro-public education candidates win by 1) adding your hand-written endorsement to their campaign post cards and mailing them to your friends, and 2) manning a phone bank next Monday to remind voters to go to the polls on Tuesday to support your candidate. Read more here.

Judge Rules on School Funding Suit

Posted 7/21/15

Last week, Judge Singletary ruled against the 21 school districts that sued the state for the amount their schools have been underfunded since 2008. In his decision, Judge Singletary agreed that schools should be fully funded but also said that current state law allows the Legislature to skirt that responsibility. Both Mississippi law and our state constitution give full discretion to legislators to decide whether or not our kids get a shot at a decent future. That makes this year's election critical. We must: 1) elect legislators who share our commitment to an adequately-funded public school system, and 2) vote for Initiative 42, amending our state constitution to recognize our children's right to an adequately funded education. Read more here.

August 4 an Important Day for Public Schools

Posted 7/15/15

When it comes to the future of public education, the stakes are high in the August 4 primary election (click here to read why). We need your help to win the day for our children - and it will only take a few minutes of your time. Each week between now and the primary election, we will ask you to do one or two very simple things that will make a very big difference. If each of us does our part, we will win. Read more here.

Heavy-handed Political Move Makes August 4 Pivotal


House Appropriations Chairman Herb Frierson summoned state agency heads to the Capitol yesterday in what was clearly a scare tactic designed to gin up opposition to Initiative 42, the school funding amendment. This is but the most recent in a disturbing string of efforts by elected leaders to use heavy-handed tactics to manipulate the outcome of important initiatives (vouchers, funding, Initiative 42, etc.). The August 4 primaries will be your first opportunity to push back against legislative power plays and elect people who will represent the interests of Mississippi children - not out of state lobbyists who want to divert public school funds to for-profit schools run by their corporate clients. It is absolutely imperative that we supporters of public schools get to know our candidates and fight for those who will fight for our kids. Read more here.

Candidate Q & A Goes Live

posted 6/23/15

You asked, and they answered! Click here to see what candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor, and the legislature had to say about the education issues of greatest concern to members of The Parents' Campaign. Click here for an Election Toolkit designed to help the busiest public school supporters elect education-friendly candidates.

Results of 3rd Grade Reading Assessment, Including Retests, Announced

Posted 6/12/15

MDE has released results of the first retest for third graders who did not pass the 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment when it was first administered in April. Since the May retesting opportunity, the statewide passage rate improved to 91%, up from 85% in the initial testing period. The 91% passage rate incorporates results of the first test administration in April and the first retest in May. A second retest opportunity will be available to students prior to the start of school in August. See the latest results here.

Keeping You in the Loop on Candidates, Initiative 42, and More

Posted 6/2/15

It's clear that Mississippi parents and teachers across Mississippi are paying attention to the 2015 Election, and they want to know where candidates stand on issues that affect our public school students. The Parents' Campaign whittled down the overwhelming list of questions sent to us for candidates and created a questionnaire of reasonable length that represented the most frequently cited concerns of our members. The questionnaire has been sent to candidates and their responses will be posted on our website in the coming weeks. Read more here

3rd Grade Reading Assessment Results Announced

Posted 5/8/15

MDE today released results of the state’s first-ever 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment. Statewide, 85% of third-graders passed the test; 15% (5,612 students), failed to meet the minimum passing score. See links to district and school-level passage rates, and further information about the assessment results here
Students who did not pass the test the first time and do not qualify for good cause exemptions will have two more opportunities to take it this year, between May 18 and May 22, and again between June 29 and August 7. Those who do not pass the test by the August 7 re-take opportunity will be retained in third grade and will receive intensive reading interventions.

Send Us Your Questions for Candidates


How will you know which candidates for the Mississippi Legislature are supporters of our public schools?  Do you wish that you could quiz them all before you cast your vote? You can, through our Candidate Q & A. Send us your questions for candidates by Friday, May 8, to We will compile the questions we receive into a questionnaire that will be given to all legislative candidates as well as those for pertinent statewide offices. Candidates' responses will be posted, verbatim, on our website.

Vouchers, Graduation Requirements, and Common Core


Last week, Governor Bryant signed SB 2695, the voucher bill that allows taxpayer dollars to be used to pay tuition for children with special needs to attend private academies and for-profit schools. The governor has not yet signed SB 2161, the bill that establishes a commission to make recommendations about Mississippi's education standards. In other news, the State Board of Education announced changes to high school graduation requirements, including removing the requirement that students pass subject area tests. Read more about all of these issues here. 

Your School District's Funding Shortage for 2015-2016, Cumulative Losses Since FY 2009


MDE has released the state funding allocations for each school district for the 2015-2016 school year. Click here to see your district's shortage for the coming year and your district's total losses since FY 2009. The last time the MAEP was fully funded (as required by state law) was the 2007-2008 school year. Read more.

Session Ends, Status of Bills


The 2015 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature has ended. The Senate completed its work yesterday and the House did so this morning. Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of Mississippi children. You have been amazing! Click here to see an update on the legislation we tracked during the session.

Update from the Capitol


 The House and Senate have taken final action on some of the bills we have been watching; others remain on the calendar. The deadline for an initial vote is tomorrow. The conference report for SB 2300, which allows county-wide open enrollment for charter schools, has not been acted on by either chamber. Also awaiting action is the conference report for the budget transfer bill, which could be used to add MAEP funding. Read more here.

Calls Needed on Open Enrollment for Charter Schools, Another Tax Cut Effort


The conference report for SB 2300 now has a provision to allow students in any district, including those rated A, B, or C, to cross district lines within a county to attend a charter school in another school district. Funding would follow the child. Ask legislators to recommit SB 2300 so that the open enrollment provision can be removed. On another front, Lt. Governor Reeves indicated on Twitter late this afternoon that another tax cut effort may be in the works. Read more here.

Final Bills to be Decided Soon


We are in the final stretch of the 2015 Legislative Session. The deadline for initial conference reports to be filed on funding and revenue bills is tomorrow, but those first reports are sometimes sent back for more work. The deadline for conference reports to be filed on general bills is Monday. Legislators will be working at the Capitol over the weekend as they move toward the final deadlines. Read more here.

More State Funding Available


The Legislature learned today that it has more money available to spend on state services. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee met this afternoon and revised the revenue estimate for Fiscal Year 2016. This revenue estimate is what next year's budget (state spending) is based upon. The committee acknowledged an additional $30-million that can now be added to the pool of money eligible to be budgeted for the coming year. Read more.

Something to Celebrate


Today, the tax-cut bill that would have eliminated $555-million from state coffers and made it nearly impossible ever to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) died in the House of Representatives, thanks to 52 representatives who chose children over tax cuts. Read more here.

52 House Members Choose School Funding Over Tax Cuts

Posted 3/18/2015

The plan to eliminate $555-million from state coffers in corporate tax breaks was rejected today by 52 House members who put our children and their schools ahead of election-year politics. See that vote. But the bill is likely to come back up for another vote in the next day or two, and the leadership and corporate lobbyists are ramping up the pressure on public school champions. Read more.

Majority of Senate Chooses Tax Cuts Over School Funding

Posted 3/17/2015

In today's debate over corporate tax breaks and adequate school funding, a majority of senators voted to eliminate $555-million in state revenue through tax cuts. Click here to see what your district stands to lose if the tax cut plan is adopted. Earlier in the day the Senate sent a bill to Governor Bryant that under-funds the MAEP by more than $200-million, claiming there is not enough revenue to provide schools more funding.  Read more. 

Senate Appropriations Passes Funding Bill With No Changes

Posted 3/16/15

The Senate Appropriations Committee took up the K-12 funding bill this afternoon. No amendments were offered and no changes were made to the bill. It will go to the Senate floor tomorrow morning. Please call your senator immediately and ask him or her to amend HB 1536 to fully fund the MAEP or send the bill to conference for further work. See details here.

Will Your Senator Stand Up for Public Schools This Week?

Posted 3/16/15

The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet this afternoon to consider the K-12 funding bill and the bill will go before the full Senate tomorrow. Ask committee members and your own senator to fully fund the MAEP. Read more here about how the lack of state funds for legislatively-mandated expenditures has left local school districts holding the bill and facing no-win choices regarding which programs to fund and which to cut.

K-12 Funding on Tap for Senate Appropriations Committee

Posted 3/12/15

 The deadline for a Senate floor vote on the K-12 appropriations bill is Tuesday, March 17; the Senate Appropriations Committee must take up HB 1536 either tomorrow or Monday. Read more here about how much our children's schools already are under-funded and how much your district stands to lose next year if the MAEP is under-funded again. Please contact members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and your own senator to ask for full funding of the MAEP. Click here for more news from the Capitol today.

House Passes Teacher Assistant Pay Raise - Again!

Posted 3/12/15

Rep. Tracy Arnold offered, and the House passed, an amendment to SB 2300 that increases the minimum salary for teacher assistants from the current $12,500 to $15,000. SB 2300 is a charter school bill which was further amended to remove the provision that would have allowed local and state tax dollars to be transferred from a charter school in one part of the state to another. Please join me in thanking Rep. Arnold and the House for finding a way to bring the teacher assistant pay raise back before the Legislature! (The original bill that provided this raise died in the Senate earlier in the session.) SB 2300 will now be returned to the Senate where that body can concur with the changes made in the House or invite conference. 

House Passes Voucher Bill

Posted 3/11/15

The House passed the voucher bill, SB 2695, on a vote of 65-51 this afternoon. Several amendments were offered that would have replaced vouchers with services designed to help all children with special needs, but those amendments were rejected. Read more, and see how your representative voted on the bill itself and the amendments, here.

More Help Needed on Vouchers

Posted 3/10/15

Your representatives need to hear from you! The voucher bill did not come up for a vote today; tomorrow is the deadline. The House will convene at 10:00 a.m. You can watch their proceedings hereA number of sources tell us that the House leadership and privatization forces are dialing up the pressure on representatives to vote for the voucher bill. Please let your reps know that, if they stand up for public schools, you will have their backs. Read more here.

Privatization Bills on Tap for Floor Votes

Posted 3/9/2015

Privatization bills are expected to come up for floor votes in the House and Senate tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday. Learn the truth about Mississippi's low graduation rate among children with disabilities and why you should tell your legislators to vote no on bills that would privatize public education. Read more here.

Some Bad News, Some Good News

Posted 3/3/2015

Today was the deadline for bills to pass out of committee. Senate and House committees passed bills to help privatizers and killed bills to help public school students and teachers. Among those killed was the pay raise for assistant teachers and the literacy bill that provides important exemptions for third-graders. Read more here.

Voucher Bill Headed to House Floor

Posted 2/26/2015

The House Education Committee passed SB 2695 this afternoon as a strike-all amendment, replacing the original language of the Senate voucher bill with that of HB 394, the House voucher bill. Ask your representative to vote NO on SB 2695. Read more here.

Legislators Play High-stakes Politics with Children's Futures

Posted 2/25/2015

The House passed a bill today that, if enacted, will ensure that our children will never receive adequate school resources. See your legislator's vote here. HB 1629 removes 30 percent of state general fund revenue by eliminating the entire state income tax, phased out over 15 years. It would cut $1.7-billion from the state budget, with a loss to K-12 of $663-million annually. Yesterday, the Senate passed its own tax-cut plan to eliminate $382-million from state coffers, mostly through corporate tax breaks. See that vote here. K-12's annual hit from the Senate tax cut would be about $150-million. Read more here.

What Your District Stands to Lose in Funding

Posted 2/24/2015

How much will your school district be shortchanged if the MAEP is not fully funded? A lot. Click here to see an estimate of what your district could gain if the MAEP is fully funded, and what it could lose if it is not. While state leaders are unwilling to fund schools adequately, they are engaging in an election year game of one-upmanship over who can decimate our state's budget the most through tax cuts our state can ill afford.

Literacy Test Concerns Misrepresented

Posted 2/24/2015

The concerns of parents, teachers, and advocates regarding the third-grade "reading gate" have been misrepresented in recent media coverage. The concern is not that children who can't read will be retained, it is that children who can read will be retained because, for any number of reasons, they miss the cut score on the one high-stakes test that will determine retention. The Florida law on which Mississippi's law is based does not make a high-stakes test the sole determinate for third-grade retention. Read more here about Florida's investment of state and federal funds in reading, including a $300-million federal Reading First grant and more than $1-billion in state funding allocated to districts from 2005 through the current year for reading instruction.

MDE Holding Literacy Meetings for Parents


The Mississippi Department of Education is hosting a series of meetings for parents of children in kindergarten through third grade. The meetings are intended to provide an overview of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act and to teach strategies that parents can use at home to help their children improve their reading. See schedule.

House Passes K-12 Funding Bill With $201M Shortfall for MAEP

Posted 2/18/2015

Today, the House of Representatives passed the K-12 funding bill on a unanimous vote, with almost no debate. It provides an increase in MAEP funding over last year of $107-million, but leaves the MAEP $201-million short of full funding. About half of the $107-million increase is intended to cover the second phase of the well-deserved teacher pay raise and what we hope will be a pay raise for teacher assistants. Read more here.

Still Time to Contact Representatives; Ed Funding Debate Tomorrow

Posted 2/17/2015

The House did not take up the funding bill today, so there is still time to make those calls! We are expecting that debate tomorrow shortly after the House convenes at 10 a.m. Click here to watch it online. Read more here.

Looking for contact information for your legislators? Find it for those who represent your school district here, and use social media to reach out to all elected leaders. Remember to include the hashtag #All4PubEd any time you tweet or post on Facebook.

House to Vote on K-12 Funding Bill that Shorts MAEP by $201M

Posted 2/17/2015

The House is expected to vote this afternoon on the K-12 funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee yesterday. Their plan is to underfund MAEP by $201-million for the 2015-2016 school year, despite having revenue available to fully fund our schools. Read more here.

Third-Grade Reading Gate, Assistant Teacher Pay-Raise Bills Move to Senate

Posted 2/13/2015

Both the third-grade reading gate bill and the assistant teacher pay-raise bill were moved forward by the House today. Please thank Chairman Moore and Speaker Gunn. The bills now will go to the Senate for consideration. Click here for more information about these and other bills we are tracking.

Tell Leadership to Move Critical Bills Forward

Posted 2/12/2015

Tomorrow is a critical day for three important education bills that are still pending: the third-grade reading gate, assistant teacher pay-raise, and average daily membership bills. Tell Chairman Moore and Speaker Gunn to table the motion to reconsider on HB 745, HB 582, and HB 471. Read more here about these bills and today's actions on other education bills in the House and Senate. 

Amended Bill Would Hold 3rd Graders Harmless for First Year of New State Test

Posted 2/11/2015

A bill that would hold Mississippi third-graders harmless for the first-year results of a new high-stakes reading test and delay retentions for one year could die without your help. A majority of the House supports the amended version of the bill that allows children who don't meet the (as of yet undetermined) cut score to progress to fourth grade while providing them the intensive remediation they need. Sources tell us that the leadership is likely to kill it. If the bill dies, thousands of third graders who would not otherwise be retained will be held back.  Read more here.

HB 394 is About Privatizing Public Education

Posted 2/9/2015

HB 394 could be voted on in the House any time before the midnight deadline on February 12. This is a voucher bill that purports to provide opportunities for children with special needs when, in fact, it is simply a bill intended to line the pockets of for-profit entities whose goal is to privatize public education. Read more here about vouchers for children with special needs. And read letters to legislators from Starkville and Jackson County parents of children with special needs - these parents oppose vouchers and want more resources for their public schools.

A Chance to Stop the Privatizers

Posted 2/6/2015

Legislators have gone home for the weekend, and they need to hear from you. Read more here.

What Legislators Didn't Do for Children with Special Needs

Posted 2/4/2015

Legislators had opportunities over the last few weeks to provide real help for children with special needs, but instead, chose to focus on legislation that provides our most vulnerable children no assurance of special education services at all. Read more here.

It's Getting Ugly at the Capitol

Posted 1/29/2015

Our kids need your help. Well-funded privatization forces are gaining ground in their efforts to privatize Mississippi's public education system, a move that would hand state tax dollars to unaccountable for-profit, virtual, and private schools. Read more here.

Senate Ed Committee Passes Voucher Bill

Posted 1/27/2015

This morning, the Senate Education Committee passed a voucher bill that, if enacted, would be a big step toward privatizing public education in Mississippi. It could go to the full Senate as early as tomorrow. Read more here.

HB 449 Aims to Silence Educators

Posted 1/23/2015

HB 449, authored by House Education chairman John Moore of Rankin County, would make it a criminal offense for teachers to contact their legislators during the work day (pretty much the only time that legislators are at the Capitol) and for citizens to advocate for an issue they support on any school property. Read more here. For a complete analysis of HB 449, click here

What are Their Plans for Public Education?

Posted 1/20/2015

So many of you have emailed, called, and texted us to express your devotion to Mississippi kids and your outrage with legislators who last week put our children's education in jeopardy, voting to thwart public will with a legislative alternative (HCR 9) to the people's school funding amendment.  Many of you report that your legislators are in "justification mode" - quoting from their talking points about the alternative, while swearing to be ardent supporters of public schools and promising great things for this legislative session.  We will be watching their votes and reporting the outcome to you. Votes on key bills will tell us if they've made good on their promises. Read more here about privatization bills and possible changes regarding school funding.

Senate Passes HCR 9 on Vote of 31-21

Posted 1/14/2015

The Senate passed HCR 9, the legislative alternative to Initiative 42, on a 31 to 21* vote this afternoon, over the objections of the people they were elected to serve. You can see how your senator voted here. Click here to read a compilation of interesting tweets from today's Senate debate. Read more here about the vote and what we, the people, can do to ensure adequate funding for our children's education.

House Passes HCR 9 on Vote of 64-57

Posted 1/13/2015

Despite the more than 200,000 Mississippians who signed the petition for Initiative 42, and despite the thousands of you who called, emailed, texted, tweeted, and otherwise asked your legislators to vote NO on any alternative amendment, 64 of them did exactly what you repeatedly asked them not to do. The House passed HCR 9, the legislative alternative to Initiative 42, on a 64 to 57 vote. You can see how your representative voted here.

Please join me in thanking the 57 representatives who stood up for our children and voted against the phony alternative designed to kill the people's school funding amendment. Read more here.

House Committee Passes Legislative Alternative to Initiative 42

Posted 1/12/2015

This afternoon, the House Constitution Committee passed House Concurrent Resolution 9, the alternative amendment that is intended to derail the school funding amendment supported by 200,000 Mississippians. It is expected to come up for a floor vote in the House tomorrow at 10 a.m. Despite an overwhelming outcry from the public for the Legislature to keep its #HandsOff42, House members are under immense internal political pressure to vote for the alternative.

Ask your representative to vote NO on HCR 9, the alternate amendment.  

Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770

Share the same message with Speaker Gunn: 601.359.3300

Click here to watch the debate live online at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Taxpayers Deserve Honest Answers

Posted 1/12/2015

At the very least, shouldn't voters expect the folks we elect to shoot straight with us? Unfortunately, many of the talking points the opposition is using to try to derail Initiative 42, the people's school funding amendment, are just plain false. A perfect example is the bogus argument that they are worried about a judge in Hinds County deciding school funding issues . Click here for questions to ask Initiative 42 opponents (and the honest answers you should expect to receive in return).

#HandsOff42 VIRTUAL RALLY was a Tremendous Success

Posted 1/8/2015

Congratulations on a terrific #HandsOff42 Virtual Rally! Your message was delivered loudly and clearly, and that is good news for Mississippi children. Legislators report that they were astounded at the number of people who emailed, called, texted, and posted on social media in support of Initiative 42. You are truly amazing. Now, we have two more favors to ask of you. Click here to read more.

#HandsOff42 VIRTUAL RALLY is Today

Posted 1/7/2015

It's time for the #HandsOff42 VIRTUAL RALLY! Tell politicians to keep their hands off our school funding amendment and to vote NO on any legislative alternative to Initiative 42. Click here for all of the contact information you will need to reach elected officials by phone, email, text message, and social media.

2015 Legislature to Convene January 6
Posted 1/5/2014

The 2015 Legislative Session will convene at noon on Tuesday, January 6. As always, we will keep our members in the know about legislation that affects public schools and how their legislators vote on pertinent education bills.  If you would like to receive email updates about your legislators' education votes and have not already signed up, click here to be added to our email list. For additional news updates,  like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Time to Rally for Adequate School Funding!

Posted 1/2/2015

Tired of politicians running roughshod over public education? It's time to send them a message and stop their plan to kill the people's Better Schools, Better Jobs funding amendment. Join our #HandsOff42 VIRTUAL RALLY on Wednesday, January 7 without ever leaving home or work. Click here to learn how.

Click here to see archived postings from 2014; click here for postings from 2006-2013.