From Nancy Loome
The legislative session starts in five days, and the sad truth is that you should be worried about what’s coming. Throughout the holidays, I’ve received calls, texts, and emails from folks who are livid about the plans they’re hearing from their own legislators and from state leaders.
Likely to be first on the legislative agenda is an attempt to push through a broad charter school bill that would allow charter schools in all districts, despite the clear message from constituents that charters should be limited to areas with low-performing schools.
Some in leadership positions are bending to pressure from lobbyists and corporations that are pushing to privatize our public schools. Virtual charter schools have made their way back into the new Senate charter bill, and neo-vouchers, also called tax credit scholarships, are being proposed.
It appears that what some are framing as “school reform” is really an effort to push through a for-profit agenda rather than enact what has been proven to advance student achievement.
Worse, the word is that some in our legislature don’t like the fact that we are telling you what they’re up to, and they are seeking ways to diminish our effort to keep you informed.
It is more critical than ever that you develop relationships with your legislators and get them to help us keep the legislative process an open one that encourages public input.
Please call your legislators this week, before they return to Jackson, and ask for their commitment to keeping you in the loop.
Tell your legislators that you want to stay informed about the bills that will affect our children’s education. Let them know that you will be checking in with them often throughout the session.
And take a moment to share with them your concerns about education issues. (Click here to see some of the education reform ideas being floated and to read about The Parents’ Campaign’s support for serious school reform.)
Your legislators are:
If your legislators are not listed above it is because we do not have your street address and zip code in our database. Click here to find your legislator. Click here to send us your street address and zip code.
I promise to continue to be your eyes and ears at the Capitol and to notify you of legislation that will have an impact on our children’s schools. Lobbyists representing for-profit charters and those pushing to privatize our public schools are hard at work in Mississippi. Their top goal is to maximize profits for their corporate clients, not to educate kids, and if we don’t speak up, they will get their way. (Click here to see an article on this subject that I authored and that has run in several newspapers.)
Your legislators need to know where you stand, and they need to know that you are paying attention.
Please tell your friends and family about The Parents’ Campaign, and ask them to get involved. If we stand together, we can get good, effective legislation passed this session.
We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. After all, we’ve got over 62,000 Mississippi moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers, community leaders, educators, and business leaders – tens of thousands of folks who care about our kids and are standing with us to fight for serious education reform that will protect our good schools and fix our bad ones. What a blessing!
With a grateful heart,