TUESDAY, FEB. 13, 2007

(601) 969-2913
Dowdy praises Democratic Party leaders
in state Senate for education bill

JACKSON (Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007) – Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy commended Democratic Party leaders in the state Senate for their work today helping approve a bill to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.

Their work was critical, he said, especially with Republican Gov. Haley Barbour’s inconsistent support of K-12 school funding. The MAEP is the state’s basic funding for public schools.

Barbour has opposed fully funding the MAEP in the past, including under funding it in his proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Barbour, however, suddenly voiced his support in late December for fully funding the MAEP.

“We just don’t know what to think about Gov. Barbour,” Dowdy said.

“Even though Gov. Barbour says he expects to sign a bill to fully fund MAEP, his lack of support for the issue in the past leaves us wondering what could happen in future years that don’t have the added pressure of also being an election year.”

Barbour and other statewide officials are up for re-election this fall.

“That’s why support from Democratic Party leaders in the state Senate is so critical,” Dowdy said. “They, along with other Democratic leaders in the state House of Representatives, will make sure the public’s attention is focused on education and helping our children.”

House Bill 238 is expected to return to the House where leaders say they will work to increase money earmarked in the proposal for “at-risk” children in younger grades. The original House bill had extra money for at-risk children while the Senate version didn’t.

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