FAQs

1. Why do we need this amendment?

In 1997, the Legislature created a funding formula to provide each child with an adequate public education. The state has fully funded its part only twice. The proposed amendment will require the Legislature to keep its commitment to our children and our communities.

2. Where will the new K-12 funds come from?

Not from new taxes. The state’s part of K-12 funding could be built up to reach its promised level by using at least 25% of any General Fund revenues coming from economic growth each year.  The amendment’s financial proposal doesn’t offer a funding solution, but it offers a fiscally pathway for the Legislature to reach full funding over a period of years.

3. Will other agencies' budgets be cut to fund the increase to reach full funding for K-12?

No. The state’s part of fully funding its commitment to K-12 education can come from General Fund growth, not funds allocated for other agency budgets.

4. Does this initiative take away the power from the Legislature?

No. The Legislature will continue to make decisions regarding education funding. So long as the Legislature fully funds K-12 education, there is no need for a judge judicial review. If the Legislature fails to fully fund the its own formula, a Mississippian can sue to require the Legislature to fully fund the formula. This decision, however, will ultimately be decided by the Mississippi Supreme Court.

5. What is a legislative alternative to the initiative?

By law, the Legislature may propose its own option to oppose an initiative amendment. But since the law was passed more than 20 years ago, an alternative has never been proposed.

6. Is there a need for a legislative alternative?

No. Any alternative proposed by the Legislature is an attempt to kill the citizens’ initiative supported by nearly 200,000 Mississippians’ signatures.

7. Why should we throw money at our public schools?

Mississippi has never thrown money at education. All this amendment would do is require the Legislature to fully fund its part of the promise made in 1997 to provide an adequate education for all our children.

8. I’ve heard there are no accountability measures in the MAEP formula?

Wrong. Numerous accountability standards are in place for MAEP funds, chiefly that school districts cannot spend it on anything other than direct classroom support such as teacher salaries, insurance and retirement, classroom supplies, and basic operational costs such as utilities and building maintenance.

9. How will new funding be used in the school districts?

If you ask local school leaders, they will tell you that full funding could help them reduce the student-to-teacher ratio, acquire needed technology and upgrade crumbling facilities. They also say that full funding could help them avoid local bond issues and increased property taxes.