Signature can speak louder than courts

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mississippi schools hoping for full funding of the state’s ridiculously weak education funding law have two possible paths — sue the state or take the matter to the people.

Former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove — a trial lawyer by trade — is lobbying support for a lawsuit he filed against the state seeking back payment for the amounts the state underfunded local school districts since 2010.

Although the state passed an educational funding law in 1997 called the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, state lawmakers have seen fit to fully fund the state’s education system only twice since the law’s passage.

Email newsletter signup

Musgrove’s hope is to have a judge rule that the wording of the law doesn’t just suggest full funding, but requires full funding.

Unfortunately, such a case will, if Musgrove prevails, almost certainly be appealed — likely decided ultimately by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

The other avenue for full funding seems more likely to fundamentally win — without much chance for more lawyers to get involved or appeal. A group called Better Jobs, Better Schools seeks to garner enough signatures on a petition that would put the matter of education funding on the ballot for voters to decide.

That avenue makes good sense.

Voters are tired of legislative babble in support of education, but no action to prove it.

We cannot think of a better way to show the disgust for such behavior than to simply go around the legislature, the court system and even an ex-governor and simply force the state to properly fund the state’s education system.