Democrats support Pickering’s MAEP push

Politics does make strange bedfellows sometimes. The Mississippi Democratic Trust has issued these statements on the problems Republican State Auditor Stacey Pickering has pointed out with data/accountability in the MAEP education funding formula:

Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature agree with recent findings by Mississippi’s State Auditor about problems with education reporting by local districts.

“A few years ago, Democrats in the legislature gave the Auditor the authority to look into daily attendance reports submitted by school districts. We did this to bring transparency to the process and because we suspected that with no uniform policy for reporting daily attendance, our school district reports had become riddled with inaccuracies,” said Rep. Cecil Brown (D-Jackson).

In an effort to bring a greater measure of accountability and transparency to the process, Democrats have submitted a plan that would require superintendents to certify data that is submitted to the state. House Bill 121 sponsored by Rep. Brown would impose significant penalties on superintendents who submit faulty reports.

Rep. Brown said, “Our plan requires superintendents to put their name on the dotted line before they submit a report to the state. There’s too much riding on the accuracy of these reports to allow school districts to submit unsigned records.”

With respect to the penalties portion of the bill. Brown added, “Any superintendent who submits a bad report at the expense of tax payer dollars deserves to be removed from their post and prevented from representing one of our districts in the future.”

Geoff Pender