News in Brief
Petitioners Get Signatures to Put Funding on Ballot
Supporters of a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing "an adequate and efficient system of free public schools" in Mississippi say they've collected enough signatures to put a referendum on the 2015 general-election ballot.
Pearl school board President Sondra Odum said last week that 121,691 signatures of registered voters have been certified. That's above the threshold of more than 107,216 required for a referendum.
The referendum aims to prevent lawmakers from underfunding public schools, after a seven-year period in which the state has fallen $1.53 billion short of meeting the amount mandated by its school funding formula. During that time, most districts have increased local property taxes and cut teacher jobs.
Vol. 34, Issue 08, Pages 4-5