THURSDAY, JAN. 11, 2007

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Dowdy applauds House for education vote

JACKSON (Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007) – Wayne Dowdy, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party, released the following statement after the state House voted today to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

“The state House and its Democratic Party leaders should be commended for supporting K-12 public schools by approving full funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program – which is designed to ensure students receive an education on par with at least a mid-level accreditation.

“The vote came on the same day parents and education supporters rallied at the Capitol – and that’s a sad commentary on Republican lawmakers and their priorities. This issue could have been settled last week on the opening day of the 2007 Legislature, but most Republicans voted en bloc to keep the House from considering MAEP funding.

“Nevertheless, this vote still sends a dramatic message to the entire state and Republican Gov. Haley Barbour that the Mississippi House of Representatives understands and believes the importance of fully funding education first.

“Now, it’s up to the state Senate to quickly follow suit. And when that happens, we’ll be in a position to see if Gov. Barbour will sign the bill and show the people of Mississippi that he really does support education.

“Remember, this is a governor who hasn’t been much of a friend to education. And don’t forget his flip-flop on full MAEP funding, opposing it last fall in his proposed state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and then telling The Associated Press last month he expects to fully fund MAEP.

“The real test for Gov. Barbour, however, comes when, and if, he signs the bill the state House passed.”

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