Mississippi Senate should fund education

The Clarion-Ledger

February 28, 2011

 

Senate should fund education
February 28, 2011

The Clarion-Ledger

The Mississippi House of Representatives is to be commended for at least holding the line from last year on education funding for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1. The Senate's proposal, however is $90 million less than what has passed the House and is totally unacceptable.

Our children's futures should not continue to be ambushed. All across the state we hear of students without school books or desks, limited access to libraries and technology, classrooms growing in size with fewer teaching personnel, sinking test scores and high dropout rates. If the Senate proposal is adopted these conditions will be exacerbated.

According to state education officials, more than 2,500 school personnel, including teachers, assistant teachers, principals and other staff have lost their jobs because of budget cuts. House Education Committee Chairman, Cecil Brown, reports that 72 school districts have raised ad valorem taxes to try to make up for some of these cuts. Taxes may not be raised by state legislators but their actions are forcing tax increases by local communities. Communities and children that lack the ability to raise additional taxes are being left further and further behind. Children who are beginning school today cannot wait until the economy picks up. They must be educated now!

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the full Senate should fight for the future of our children and the future of this state. As long as we have large percentages of school drop-outs and school failures, the state will never have the tax base it needs to be competitive, and we will have to continue to bribe businesses to locate here - by the way paying much more than if we educated our children.

When you see your state senator, please speak up for the future of our children and our state. Call them, and ask them to support H. B. 1494 as it passed the House. Children have a basic right to a quality education, regardless of the wealth or lack of wealth, in their communities or the status of their families. To do less for any child is to be cruel to that child and to ensure for them an uneven playing field.

Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald

Southern Regional Director

Children's Defense Fund (SRO)

Jackson

The Mississippi House of Representatives is to be commended for at least holding the line from last year on education funding for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 1. The Senate's proposal, however is $90 million less than what has passed the House and is totally unacceptable.
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