Education advocate to speak in Tupelo

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – One of Mississippi’s biggest education advocates will be in Tupelo on Tuesday night to tell Northeast Mississippi residents how they can help their schools receive adequate funding.
Nancy Loome, the executive director of The Parents’ Campaign, will speak at the Link Centre on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Loome will discuss the impact of state funding cuts on the state’s schools and what can be done to stop further reductions to education.
The presentation will last about an hour and will include a question-and-answer segment.
The Parents’ Campaign is a Jackson-based organization that lobbies for the state’s public education system.
All Northeast Mississippi school districts are invited to participate. The meeting is open to school leaders, parents and community members.
Because state revenue fell short of projections last year, the state’s K-12 school districts were cut more than 9 percent in funding during the course of the year.
This year’s funding picture could be even bleaker because the state will lose about $400 million in federal stimulus money that it has used to plug holes in its budget.
Gov. Haley Barbour has asked all state agencies to be prepared to cut their budgets as much as 15 percent, although the state does have some reserve money that could help offset that.
“Schools cannot absorb cuts of that level without doing real hard damage to our educational system,” Loome said. “I think it would take us back, and I think it would take us decades to recover from that sort of a hit.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.