A new formula that would update the way Mississippi funds education has been introduced by Speaker Philip Gunn (R-Clinton).

Key Takeaways:

  1. The base student cost is set at $4,800 with additional weights based on specific learning needs.
  2. Funding for districts is based on “Average Daily Membership” rather than “Average Daily Attendance.”
  3. The “27 percent rule,” which limits the local share for school funding at 28 mills ($28 for every $1,000 collected in local property taxes) remains.
  4. There are several transparency provisions now in place, including one that will allow anyone to track how districts are spending their money.

Our view: After careful review of EdBuild’s report released last year and Speaker Philip Gunn’s introduced legislation (HB 957), we enthusiastically endorse this proposal. No funding formula is perfect, but we believe a new formula should be equitable, transparent, and student-centered. This proposed legislation accomplishes all three, while implementing the vast majority of EdBuild’s recommendations.


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Unhealthiest State Has The Best Vaccination Rate | Mississippi's National Embarrassment

Mississippi, the unhealthiest state in America, has the highest vaccination rates. Paul Offit, one of the vaccine industry’s most strident ambassadors, wonders how the state of Mississippi, which has “the worst overall health in the nation,” achieves over 99.4% vaccine coverage? The real question, however, is why, when despite juxtaposing two critical pieces of health information about Mississippi’s children—high vaccine coverage and poor health rankings—Offit does not ask the obvious elephant-in-the-room question: Could one have something to do with the other?

Read the full World Mercury Project article, full of research linking chronic disease to vaccines, here.


For years, the parents of this state have been begging on the Mississippi State Capitol steps to be released from the fascist vaccine laws they have lived under for decades.

Mississippi legislators look to and consult with medical trade organizations who pad their campaign accounts, and profit from vaccines.These organizations echo that we are "first in this one good thing" and finally "doing something right."

Except, they are very, very wrong.

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Rep. Dana Criswell named 2017 Champion of Freedom


Mississippi’s legislative session was highlighted by several victories that will promote freedom and prosperity in the state. Lawmakers passed legislation that reformed outdated regulations and protected property rights, and stopped bills that would have hurt taxpayers and continued special interest handouts.

Here’s just a few of the victories:

  • Landmark occupational licensing reform (HB 1425): This new law brings much-needed oversight to licensing boards in the many industries that require government permission to work. Many of these licensing requirements are unnecessary and over-burdensome and can keep aspiring workers from climbing the ladder of success.
  • Civil asset forfeiture reform (HB 812): This new law increases transparency and adds additional protections for property owners.
  • Stopping Medicaid abuse (HB 1090): This new law will keep Medicaid costs down by reducing waste and fraud in the program.
  • Defeating an internet sales tax (HB 480): This bill would have forced out-of-state businesses to collect the state sales tax from Mississippi residents. An internet sales tax would make online purchases more unaffordable and is unconstitutional.
  • Ending handouts to Hollywood (HB 711): The legislature defeated a bill that would have doled out taxpayer money to movie companies who film in the state. The handouts cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars with little—if any—economic benefit to the state.

Our 2017 Economic Freedom Scorecard gives residents a comprehensive look at where each lawmaker stands on advancing freedom in our state.

This year, Americans for Prosperity Mississippi looked at 37 votes on bills in the House and 27 votes in the Senate, totaling nearly 6,000 votes scored.

With all the votes tallied, 18 representatives and 15 senators earned the 2017 Champions of Freedom designation, scoring 90 percent or higher on our Economic Freedom Scorecard. They deserve the thanks of every Mississippian for doing the right thing and putting our state’s taxpayers and families first.

Check out the scorecard to see which legislators are Champions of Freedom and how your representatives stacked up.

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Slaying the dragon of occupational licensing

Dragon Slayer


It’s rare to see Republicans and Democrats united on solutions to address poverty. But when it comes to reining in excessive occupational licensing laws, both sides are starting to see the light.

For years, free-market advocates have denounced job-licensing regimes for the ways they restrict opportunity, stifle economic growth and protect the interests of established stakeholders over those of consumers and entrepreneurs. Most would agree that licensing may be justifiable for very highly specialized fields, like doctors. But in many fields, state licensing regimes are more about insulating the “big guys” from competition than about public safety.

It’s consumers and the “little guys” who pay the price for this cronyism. As R Street scholars haveexplained in the past, florists, hair-braiders, interior decorators and cosmetologists are among the many professions that subject to ludicrous license requirements by state and local regulators.

On this point, even the Obama administration agrees. The White House released a report last summer warning against burdensome and unnecessary licensing laws and encouraging states to look to alternatives.

Because state and local governments usually are the source of these harmful licensing regimes, reforms need to happen outside of Washington. As R Street’s Western Region Director Steven Greenhut detailed in Reason, California recently has taken an important step by convening an independent oversight agency in Sacramento to evaluate the plague of restrictive licensing rules.

Despite this progress, attempts to impose harmful licensing regimes persist—even at a federal level. This week, R Street joined the Institute for Justice and 10 other free-market groups in opposing H.R. 4141, a new bill that would grant the Internal Revenue Service authority to license tax preparers. In our letter to Congress, we note that dozens of laws already regulate tax-preparers. Granting the IRS this new power will force tens of thousands of independent tax preparers to close shop and drive up the prices consumers pay for tax preparation.


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Desoto County Legislators Ask U.S. Representatives and Senators to Defund Planned Parenthood

A core group of Desoto County legislators have decided to ask Mississippi's U.S. Representatives and Senators to vote NO on any resolution that includes funding for Planned Parenthood.  We hope that all of our pro-life colleagues in the Mississippi Legislature will join in signing the letter.  Email me at Dana@DanaCriswell.net to have your name added to the letter.

Dana Criswell


MS District 6

Download a copy of the letter - Defund Planned Parenthood


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Our Political Leaders Need Your Attention and Oversight


(Originally posted on www.MississippiGunNews.com)

Over the past several months I have talked to thousands of Olive Branch, MS residents as I campaigned to become the next State Representative for Mississippi’s District 6.  I am happy to say that we were successful in our mission and the citizens of Olive Branch now have a greater voice in our government.

As citizens we often lament the fact that those with money exercise the biggest influence over our politicians, but that is only because we allow them to have the loudest voice.  Politicians want two things, money in their campaign fund and votes, but what was proven last week in Desoto County is that votes out-weigh money.

There has been a lot of press about the amount of money the Desoto County challengers raised over the past several months but what has not been highlighted is that every incumbent had more money in their political coffers than their opponents.  What the citizens must understand is that their vote and their voice of dissatisfaction is vastly more important than the amount of money a politician has stored away.

This is why we must stay engaged, watch our elected representatives and voice our opinions.

As the next Representative of District 6, I am asking you to hold me accountable.

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The potentially devastating impacts of Mississippi’s Initiative 42

BY GRANT CALLEN  on The Hechinger Report

In November, Mississippi voters choose between two ballot initiatives to decide whether to change their constitution. The first, created by nonprofit 42 for Better Schools, requires the Legislature uphold a 1997 law on adequate school funding. The alternative initiative mandates funding an “effective system of free public school” and does not force the Legislature to fund schools beyond what it sees fit.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has signed an emergency declaration for the state’s Tunica County School District, allowing the Mississippi Board of Education to take over the district, abolish the existing school board and superintendent, and implement corrective actions. The failures in this Delta school district extend beyond academics, would repulse any parent, and are heartbreaking for the children involved. In one of the poorest regions of the nation, the Tunica County School District spends $11,471 per student per year. That is almost $2,500 more per student than the Mississippi average and almost $4,500 more than neighboring DeSoto County, one of the highest performing districts in the state.

This story is all too common in Mississippi. The worst performing public school districts in the state are given considerably more money than the best performing districts, and yet, this extra cash has not pulled these schools off the bottom. Far from it, unfortunately. Here, public school districts rated “F,”which Tunica was until moving up to a “D” this year, spend on average about $2,000 more per student than those districts rated “A.”

As a nation, we are spending more money on public education than ever before. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the total amount spent on the K-through-12 education of a student has increased 189 percent since 1970, and that’s after adjusting for inflation. In Mississippi, spending has increased 160 percent over the same period of time. Yet, with all this new education spending, our state’s abysmal ACT and SAT scores have remained virtually unchanged since 1970.

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Thank you Olive Branch, The Work Begins Now!

THANK-YOU.jpgI want to thank the many volunteers who made my campaign a success.  Hundreds of my friends, family members, and fellow residents of Desoto County contributed their time and money to support my campaign.  This election was not about me, it was about the idea that our government should be run by regular citizens who have no desire to become career politicians.

The people of Olive Branch and Desoto County have made it clear that they are tired of politics as usual and are ready to stand for freedom and liberty. I am honored that they have asked me to represent them in our State government and I am humbled by the trust they have put in me.  I will work hard to live up to their expectations.

Mississippi has positioned itself as a leader in the conservative, anti-establishment movement and I believe we will continue to fight until we have regained the freedoms that constitutionally belong to the people and the State.


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Are You in MS House of Representative - District 6

Some are still unaware that Mississippi has undergone a major redistricting of our state legislative districts.  The redistricting significantly affects those of us living in Desoto County and even more so for Olive Branch.  This year the majority of Olive Branch will change their House district which will change our representation in state government.

Mississippi House District 6 now represents the majority of Olive Branch.  Use the map below to see if you are in District 6 (brown area)

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The Desoto County Schools plan to give every high school student in the district an Apple laptop computer.  The cost will be in the millions.  A student at Olive Branch High School discusses in his research paper the folly of this wasteful undertaking.

Read his research paper. . .

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