Making Democracy Work

Social Policy: Education

The League supports equal rights and equal opportunity for all. The League promotes social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans.

The League supports effective education for all Mississippians. In addition, the League:

  • Continue to support the public school system.

  • Enact an effective compulsory attendance law.

  • Reduce the pupil-teacher ratio in first through third grades to 20 to1.

  • Provide educational programs and opportunities for all school age children who may require any form of special education.

  • Improve and expand technical and vocational training.

  • Require that a school census be taken periodically under the direction of the State Department of Education.

  • Provide adequate salary schedules for teachers with built-in incentives for continuing education.

  • Support higher education.

  • Support educational television and educational radio.

  • Reform all educational boards and commissions to conform to the following criteria:
    - Provide for staggered terms.
    - Provide for citizen participation through hearings, open meetings, and citizen advisory committees.
    - Provide uniformity of compensation for committee members.
    - Include citizens of varied backgrounds regardless of age, sex, race or creed.
    - Eliminate any unnecessary board or commission.

  • Create a unified University and College system to include junior colleges, all to be under the coordination of a Chancellor appointed by a lay board with safeguards to insure that the appointment will be a non-political and with sole regard for high caliber qualifications and experience in the field of education.

  • Support education finance reform.
    - Maintain the foundation program for funding the operation of the state's public schools.
    - Support pupil weighting that would vary according to the age of the students as well as other special needs.
    - Employ the average daily membership figure rather than average daily attendance to determine the number of teacher units the state will fund.
    - Oppose any effort to limit the amount of local enrichment that any school district could contribute.
    - Support a ratio of support in which the local district would contribute 30% and the state 70% of the district's operating expenses.

  • Consolidation of school districts within county lines is favored; however, other logical considerations should be taken into account, such as population, economics, demographics and geography.
    - Support uniformity in student opportunity, including equity in spending and quality of education.
    - Support uniformity in the methods of selecting school board members and superintendents.
    - Support district consolidation if a savings in maintenance, transportation, purchasing, and salaries results.
    - Support district consolidation if a better curriculum results.

  • Lowering the passage rate required for approval of school bond issues from 60% to 50% is favored.

  • The elimination of corporal punishment in the schools is supported, believing that it violates the personal rights of parents and students, who are its victims, as well as the rights of teachers and principals, who must inflict it

  • Oppose tuition tax credits

  • Oppose school vouchers