Hired firm for Mississippi's school funding review are put into - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Firm hired for Mississippi's school funding review put into question

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The way lawmakers divvy up your tax payer dollars for education could change. 

Here's why you should care: It's your children's schools that will see the impact.

"There is no issue getting his parents involved like funding of their children schedules," said Nancy Loome, The Parent's Campaign Executive Director. "They are absolutely passionate about it."

And the way the leadership decided to hire New Jersey non-profit EdBuild to examine the funding formula has some parents fired up.

"One concern is that it appears that there was virtually no transparency in this process and that is always a red flag," noted Loome.

It was a no-bid contract. But it turns out, the legislature isn't required to follow the same bid process or review by the board like agencies are. 

Past that, there are worries about the firm's background. Their website includes pro-charter notes and mention of the need to dissolve district lines in some cases. Both feed into Democrats' ongoing questions about the leadership's priorities.

"This is screaming of finding a consultant that supports the agenda which is to privatize educationally and send our public tax dollars to private schools," said Representative Jay Hughes-D.

In response to criticisms, Lt. Governor Reeves said:

"For generations Democrats were in charge and did little to focus on student achievement, and as a result, Mississippi remained near the bottom on national assessments. Now, we are investing in the classroom and other programs that research confirms work for kids; and fourth grade reading, fourth grade math and high school graduation rates are improving significantly. We are going to continue to focus on doing what's best for kids whether it's good for the adults or not."

While Speaker Gunn said:

"Those who criticize the decision by the Joint Rules Committees are OK with status quo," said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn. "We are not. The critics want to keep things the way they are and the way they have been for more than two decades. They're looking to increase administration costs, while we are looking to put more money into the classrooms."

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