Reverend Dawn Douglas Flowers of Madison, Mississippi, speaks out on behalf of public schools and the newly formed Pastors for MS Children.

Writing in the Mississippi Business Journal, Rev. Flowers makes the moral case for funding public schools and supporting their teachers. She writes that it is time to invest in our children, our families, and our teachers.

She writes:

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.

Pastors for Texas Children has organized clergy across the south to advocate for children and public schools. The other bpnew organization is Pastors for North Carolina Children. These pastors are dynamic. They are motivated by love of God and people, and they can’t be stopped. They bear witness and demand justice. It is exciting to see them supporting the important American tradition of separation of church and state.