Relating to School Vouchers
“This amendment would give the State Legislature the authority to develop a system of issuing vouchers for school choice. The voucher system shall be implemented no later than two school years after passage of amendment. Students who live in a public school district will have first priority for attending that school. Local School Boards will determine how many students from outside of the school district may enroll in its school district. The Local School Board will also develop an admissions system for its school district. The current system used for funding schools will be used. The State Legislature will reserve the authority to make any changes to the funding of the public schools. If a parent chooses to home school or send his/her child to private school, then the parent may receive a voucher equivalent to what the parent pays in school taxes (from the property tax) to use for this. Local School districts will have the authority to form working relationships with other school districts.
Costs: There will be no costs to the State to implement this policy. The costs to the local school district would be equivalent to d1e school tax that pays in with their property tax. If the parent has one child in public school and one in home or private school, then the voucher will not be issued.”
Should the Constitution be amended to require the legislature to develop a system of issuing vouchers for school choice?
Initiative Measure No. 45 would require the state legislature to develop a system of issuing vouchers for school choice. Students living in a public school district would have first priority for attending the school in that district. Local school boards would establish an admissions system and determine how many students from outside the school district may enroll in its school district.
The official ballot title and ballot summary for an initiative measure are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. Initiative measures are valid for one year. During this one-year period, a petition may be circulated to place the measure on the next statewide general election ballot to allow the voters of Mississippi to determine whether the measure should become a part of the Mississippi Constitution. According to Mississippi law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot, a minimum of 106,190 certified signatures must be gathered, with at least 21,238 certified signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the year 2000. This required number of signatures represents twelve percent (12%) of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election. Signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks as belonging to registered voters in Mississippi. A completed petition should be filed with Secretary of State, together with a filing fee of $500.00. For more information on the initiative process in Mississippi, consult the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, Section 273, and Mississippi Code Annotated §§ 23-17-1 through 23-17-61 (1972).