There seems to be a little hidden message, and a rather ominous one, to find articles concerning the expected school funds debate on the obituary page under Obituaries and Local (“Mississippi legislators begin session, expect school funds debate,” Page 5A, Jan. 4, and “Mississippi governor calls current school funding formula ‘a 1992 model’,” Page 4A, Jan. 6).
Is this a premonition of things to come with our public schools?
On Dec. 13, the CEO of the nonprofit organization hired to re-evaluate the state’s education funding formula said her group would have “a number of recommendations” for legislators after they finish a tour of state schools. But so far, those recommendations have been held in a veil of secrecy.
EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia toured Ocean Springs Upper Elementary School to get a closer look at programs the school offers and how they fit into the current funding formula. But Ocean Springs is one of the best schools in Mississippi along with all our Coast schools, scoring among the highest of our 144 districts. Did the Delta schools and other communities struggling with inadequate funding, rundown buildings, old outdated textbooks and insufficient teacher staff get toured, too?
I have written many letters concerning education, and for once I would like to write a positive letter praising our state leaders for realizing the importance of education. Hasn’t happened yet! With the Legislature meeting now concerning our budgets, maybe, just maybe, I’ll have some good news to report about fully funding our public schools.