This year’s elections could have a dramatic impact on the path forward for public education in Mississippi.
That path, to a large extent, could be impacted by the November general elections when numerous pivotal legislative races will be on the ballot as well as a citizen-sponsored initiative designed to enhance the state’s commitment to fund public education.
But that path also could be impacted by what happens in August – specifically what happens in a handful of Republican primary House elections.
During the past four years, with Republicans controlling both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s office for the first time since the 1800s, the leadership’s efforts in terms of public education were at least tempered by a handful of House Republicans.
The Republican leadership was able to push through much of its agenda – such as an expanded charter school law and vouchers to allow a limited number of special-needs children to spend state funds in private schools.
But in many instances a handful of House Republicans voted with Democrats to limit the scope of those proposals.