Former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove deserves a lot of credit for his staunch support of public education through the years.
As a state senator and lieutenant governor, Musgrove was instrumental in development and passage of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program and many other initiatives to improve Mississippi’s public schools. As governor, he guided a major teacher pay raise bill to passage. Few elected officials have been as committed to improving the plight of Mississippi’s schoolchildren.
That said, Musgrove’s current approach to the problem of underfunded schools in Mississippi is misguided. As a primary MAEP architect, his frustration with the Legislature’s refusal to follow the legal funding formula in all but two years since the program’s inception is understandable. We share that frustration. But a lawsuit against the state to restore up to $1.5 billion that schools have been shortchanged, which Musgrove and other attorneys are now proposing, is the wrong course.