(DeSoto County, MS) Parents cheered when teachers in Mississippi got their long-promised raises.
The raises, however, pointed out a larger problem – Mississippi doesn’t fully fund its schools to the level it promised years ago.
It’s an especially sore subject in fast-growing areas like DeSoto County.
”Our county is successful because of our great schools, but we want to ensure that this continues. We believe that education drives economic development,” said Lee Caldwell with DeSoto County Schools.
That’s why DeSoto school leaders have joined a statewide initiative to get a referendum on the fall ballot that would write full school funding into the state constitution.
Mississippi lawmakers cut school funding in 2008 at the height of the last recession and never restored it.
That’s why school supporters want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
The statewide group needs about 107,000 signatures by mid-October to get the measure on the November ballot.
You can find the petitions at all DeSoto County schools.
”We’re not asking for anything excessive. If we don’t meet growth, then the money’s not there,” Caldwell explained.
The measure would also not make lawmakers raise taxes.
Caldwell and others hope an investment in education will help brighten Mississippi’s future.