Mississippians are voicing their opinion on a proposed constitutional amendment that would require lawmakers to fully fund the state’s education system.
Nearly 100 people gathered in the auditorium of the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, last night, to take part in the last public hearing dedicated to educating residents about ballot initiative 42 and its legislative alternative 42-A.
The purpose of the public hearing was to give supporters and opponents of 42 and 42-A a chance to debate the merits of the proposed constitutional amendment. However, a majority of the forums attendees had already made up their minds. Shannon Eubanks is the principal of Enterprise Attendance Center in rural Lincoln County. He says his school is getting by, but it needs additional funding.
“My test scores are good,” Eubanks says. “I don’t have art. I don’t have a band. I don’t have a music program. My music teacher is part-time because that’s all we can afford. That’s not quality. That’s getting by to get a test score, but we need better. We need more for our students.
Yet not everyone has made up his or her mind. Les Jordan is a retired educator from Brookhaven. He attended the forum to learn more about the proposal. He says he’s still on the fence but is thinking about supporting the initiative.
“My wife and I came because we wanted to learn more about it because we’ve heard so much rhetoric,” says Jordan. “I was against it, I really was because I assumed it was going to raise my taxes. But as I looked at it, I’m kind of leaning for it now. I’m going to look at it some more, but it didn’t seem so bad."
Voters will decide the fate of the proposed education funding amendment in November