BY DANA CRISWELL
For some time I’ve seen bumper stickers and signs in support of MAEP and for the longest time I had no idea what it meant. I finally figured out it had something to do with schools and eventually came to understand it to be Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
Mississippi Adequate Education Program or MAEP is simply the formula used by the State to determine funding of K-12 education in Mississippi.
In Mississippi we spend nearly half of every dollar the State receives on education but those in the public education world seem to never have enough money. For years they have complained about and blamed “lack of adequate funding” for low performance and poor education, but even with nearly half of every tax dollar going toward education, Education Week’s, Quality Counts report gave Mississippi a “D” in K-12 education. If our public school system can not perform well enough to receive a grade better than a “D” with half of every tax dollar, then more money will not help.
According to a recent report filed by State Auditor Stacey Pickering‘s office, administrative spending has outpaced classroom spending every year except 2004-2005. So the problem is not money, it’s the choice that leadership has made to spend money on things other than students.
Now the education establishment in our State has devised a scheme to take the education funding decision away from the people and give it to one judge. Initiative 42 is an ingenious plan that removes all accountability from the education establishment and gives them the ability to get whatever they want. If it passes all they have to do is convince a single judge in the most liberal district of our state to give them whatever they want.
Mississippi State Constitution ARTICLE 8; SECTION 201.
Our Constitution requires our elected officials in the State to “provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of free public schools” but since our failing public school officials want more money they want the ability to demand more money and bypass the people of Mississippi.
Initiative 42 would amend the State Constitution;
- Since the amendment says nothing about funding, it would take funding away from the people of Mississippi.
- It gives a judge in Hinds County the power to dictate to the people of Mississippi how much to spend and how to spend it. The people, through their elected officials in the Legislature, will have no control over the amount of funding or how the Department of Education spends their taxes.
- It gives a judge in Hinds County the power to dictate how your local district educates your children, and at what cost.
- It gives a judge in Hinds County the power to force the Legislature to either make drastic cuts to community colleges, universities, public safety, and other agencies, or raise taxes on Mississippians, or both!
Initiative 42 takes away the freedom of the people of Mississippi and gives it to one Judge in Hinds County and the Mississippi Department of Education.
More information on how Initiative 42 takes away your rights