Lt. Gov. pays visit to Lamar County educators

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves told Lamar County educators that every child in the state should have a chance for a quality education during his tour of the county Tuesday afternoon.

Reeves spoke to a group of teachers, principals, central staff members and other supporters during a stop in the Lamar County School District’s Board room. He said he hoped one day that Mississippi child would get an education.

“It is my belief that if every single kid in this state grew up in Rankin County (where Reeves did) or if every single kid in this state grew up in Lamar County, then a lot of the policies that we debate in Jackson may not be necessary,” he said.

“I believe very strongly that every single kid in Rankin County and every single kid in Lamar County should have an opportunity for success.”

However, Reeves said the other 80 counties also have children who want a good education.

“I just have a core fundamental belief about education in Mississippi that it should not matter what your ZIP code is, nor should it matter what your mom and dad do – or in too many instances, don’t do – for a living, every kid in our state deserves an opportunity for success,” he said.

Reeves also answered questions from the educators dealing with school choice and the current Mississippi Adequate Education Program which provides funding for the state’s school districts.

“We are continuously looking at (MAEP funding),” he said. “What our conversation has been in the Legislature has been is, ‘Is there an adequate and more appropriate way to distribute what these funds are?’ And we believe that there is. … I think there’s a better way to allocate the resources, and we are working on it.”

With the state education funding formula’s varying results, the guarantee of a certain amount of funding for schools is not possible, Reeves said.

“There is never going to be a guarantee (of the funding amount for education) because the one thing that we have committed to as state leadership is that we are never going to spend money that we don’t have,” he said.