Initiative 42 training set for tonight

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 13, 2015

Starting in May 2014, the State of Mississippi required 108,000 signatures for Initiative 42 to be placed on the ballot in November 2015.

There were approximately 200,000 signatures collected.

Our legislature passed a law in 1997 that promised us that each public school district in Mississippi would receive enough money to adequately fund every K-12 education program in our state. But our legislature has gone back on that promise, fully funding public schools only twice in nearly 20 years.

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The result is a $1.67 billion statewide shortfall since FY2009 — enough money to pay for 4,871 first grader teachers for 10 years or 16.7 million textbooks or 4,555 school counselors for 10 years or 5.6 million classroom computers or 17,634 school buses.

Nearly 200,000 Mississippians from every county and both political parties took a stand and signed petitions to have Initiative 42 placed on this year’s ballot to amend our state constitution.

Our legislators didn’t listen to you. Instead, they placed an alternative — a fake — initiative on your ballot that allows them to continue ignoring their own law to fully fund our public schools.

Initiative 42 requires our legislators to fulfill their promise to make education funding a priority. Initiative 42 requires legislators to release the hard-earned tax dollars we’ve already paid for our children’s public education. Initiative 42 allows our courts to hold legislators accountable only if they fail to follow their own law to fully fund our local schools.

You should always remember that every child in Mississippi has a fundamental right to a free and adequate public education. That means well-trained and well paid teachers, safe and roadworthy school buses, enough new textbooks for every student to take home, school counselors, computers and basic school supplies, classrooms that don’t leak when it rains.

Initiative 42 is the only choice on the November ballot that will hold our state legislature accountable for keeping its promise to fully fund public schools in Mississippi.

Please join us for an Initiative 42 training today at 6 p.m. at the Council Chamber building where your city officials meet — 115 S. Pearl St. — during which Miss Amber Thomas, regional field director, will conduct this training. Please remember better schools mean better jobs. I have three grandchildren in the public school system. However, I still would campaign for children’s right to have all of the necessities needed for them to have everything that was promised to them in order to have better jobs.

Thank you for taking time to read this article.


Jacqueline Marsaw, a Natchez resident, is an Initiative 42 representative.