Stop playing with money for education

Published 12:05 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mississippi’s lawmakers successfully kept their ability to shortchange the state’s public education funding Tuesday night after Initiative 42 failed to receive enough votes.

Their goal of maintaining the status quo appears to have been accomplished.

That is, except, for one small problem. A growing population of the state’s residents are on to what legislators are doing.

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Likely, the great amount of attention that’s been shown to the cause of education funding will continue going forward.

Much emotion and rhetoric went into the lobbying efforts from both sides of Initiative 42, much of it gross hyperbole.

Hopefully, after a short period of rest, the organizers of Initiative 42 will “hitch up their britches,” as former Gov. Haley Barbour often said in the days after Hurricane Katrina and get back to the work that they so valiantly led.

Perhaps now those of us who support increasing our state’s focus on education can take advantage of the attention Initiative 42 provided to the issue and continue the momentum to achieve real, positive change.

We hope the movement will serve as a clarion call for lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — to simply stop playing around with public education funding and immediately begin adequately and consistently funding our state’s schools.

After all, our state’s primary focus must be on our future and that future starts with an excellent education.