Home » OPINION » Columns » REV. DAWN DOUGLAS FLOWERS — Supporting public schools is a faithful response

REV. DAWN DOUGLAS FLOWERS — Supporting public schools is a faithful response

REV. DAWN DOUGLAS FLOWERS

I am the product of the Mississippi public school system.  Both of my parents were public school teachers in Mississippi, and my husband currently works within the public school system in Mississippi.  My three children are receiving their education within our public schools, and my oldest has been in 3 different public school districts since she began kindergarten. 

This is what I know.  My children are loved and supported by wonderful teachers, and are being shaped in a positive way by their experience within our community public schools.      

This is what I know.  90% of all school age Mississippi children are educated within our public schools.  Supporting public schools is a faithful response to my call as a person of faith to love my neighbor.  Every child has the right to an education and the best way for this to be fulfilled is for us to support public policies that ensure access for all children to free public school.

This is what I know.  Mississippi is not currently providing adequate funding to meet the needs of every child because Mississippi is not adequately funding our public schools. 

This is what I know.  In the last seven years, Mississippi public schools have suffered their worst underfunding ever.  By underfunding MAEP, our Legislature is fostering inequity, and every child in every community deserves equitable, fully funded public education.      

This is what I know.  Mississippi pays our teachers less than any of our neighboring states. 

This is what I know.  Funding matters.  I am always amazed at what our teachers and our schools do for our children with the limited resources available.  Just imagine what fully funded public schools and supported teachers could do? 

This is what I know.  When we vote Nov. 5, a faithful response is one that votes for our public schools.  A faithful response is a call to invest our time, energy, and resources into making our public schools the best they can be so that every child has access to clean and functional facilities, updated technology, programs for the ARTS and STEM, and teachers that are valued and paid a competitive wage.  We cannot accomplish this by diverting funds through vouchers or charter schools that have no oversight and that drain much needed resources from our public community schools.  A faithful response is one that invests in our children, and in our teachers and their families.  Let us proclaim that we believe every child is of sacred worth, made in the image of God, and worthy of our time, our energy, our resources, and our love.  As a people of faith, let us say to our children, you matter!  Join Pastors for MS Children as we advocate for all of Mississippi’s children and our public schools.  Follow us on twitter @pastors4mskids or email us at pastors4mskids@gmail.com. 

» REV. DAWN DOUGLAS FLOWERS of Madison is part of a statewide, ecumenical clergy network working to mobilize the faith community to support our neighborhood and community schools.  You can follow Pastors for MS Children on twitter, @pastors4mskids or email us at pastors4mskids@gmail.com.

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