Mississippi’s leaders are being sued again over school funding, this time by the Southern Poverty Law Center on behalf of four black public school students.
This lawsuit says Mississippi is failing to meet requirements of the federal law that readmitted the state to the union after the Civil War. That law says the state must never deprive any citizen of the “school rights and privileges” described in the 1868 constitution.
The SPLC argues that Mississippi has repeatedly watered down its constitutional protections for education ever since as part of a white supremacist effort to prevent the education of blacks. The lawsuit asks a judge to force the state to honor the promise of that document, written nearly a century and a half ago.
It’s the second major lawsuit over school funding now pending in Mississippi.