According to a fine article in “The Hechinger Report” by Jackie Mader, many schools in Mississippi lack the basics to provide equal opportunity or even a minimally decent education. Some districts have decrepit facilities and can’t afford textbooks or technology. Pay for educators is low, and class sizes are large.

“Nearly 200,000 voters signed a petition to amend Mississippi’s constitution, adding to it language that would require the state “legislature to fund an adequate and efficient school system of free public schools.” Known as Amendment 42, its advocates consider it the best hope for holding the state accountable for fully funding persistently failing schools.”

However, a majority of the legislature passed a competing amendment.

“But Republican legislators introduced an alternative amendment that was passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives in a 64-57 vote on Tuesday. It deleted any reference to making the state responsible for providing funding to schools. Pending approval from the Senate, both initiatives will go on the ballot this November, making voters choose between these two similar-sounding yet antithetical amendments.”

Mississippi has very low scores. Higher standards won’t help. Adequate resources would.