At a local elementary school's fall festival this week, several teachers were noticeably fearful of discussing Initiative 42.
Scared or polarized by the misinformation circulated about Initiative 42? I don't know, but it saddens me, especially because it came on the heels of the anti-42 Gulf Coast tour by Gov. Bryant and his gang. School staff can't discuss Initiative 42 from fear of job termination -- yet our elected officials can do this?
My heart breaks. I know the facts -- Mississippi ranks near the bottom for academic achievement, high school graduation rate and states to do business with, and it has a sadly high poverty rate. As a PTO and classroom volunteer, I witness our best Mississippi schools struggling because tools (computers, books, furniture, supplies, etc.) needed to best educate our children are in short supply.
The funding void is too wide to be filled by PTOs.
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Our underpaid (and silenced) teachers routinely spend their own money on our kids -- why?
Because our Legislature doesn't fully fund public education -- having done it twice since the Mississippi Adequate Education Program law was passed in 1997. Legislature clearly does not make public education a priority, let alone adequate. We have to do something!
Initiative 42 means more books, smaller classes, safer buses, improved technology and better schools.
As a Republican voter, I strongly support Initiative 42 because full funding enables adequate education which will empower a future community with skills and knowledge needed to elevate Mississippi up from the bottom. Please Vote YES to Initiative 42 on Nov. 3.