MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - State Representative Jeramey Anderson is leading an effort to persuade the Moss Point School District to join a statewide lawsuit. To further this cause, he brought community members together to try to educate them on the issue.
The lawsuit is all about funding. According to Anderson, the Moss Point School District is missing more than $8.3 million of funding from the state.
The school district hasn't gotten on board with a lawsuit that could provide that money, despite months of attempts by Anderson and attorney Jesse Mitchell to get them to do so.
"It should not take this long and it shouldn't take this much pressure for $8 million that you so rightfully deserve that's owed to you that you can really use," said Anderson.
What Anderson is trying to do is part of a statewide movement. Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove is leading a campaign to sue the state for funding he says it owes to school districts.
The wording of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) was changed in 2007. Musgrove and his legal team are claiming that the new language requires full funding to be allocated to each district since 2010. This funding is determined by a particular formula implemented by state legislators.
Anderson thinks the best way to get the Moss Point School Board to join the fight is to go through community members.
"That's what I'm hoping we can get done here tonight is to try to engage and push the community to want to be involved in this particular issue. To call the school board and let them know, 'hey this is what we want,'" said Anderson.
This meeting served to educate many community members on this issue.
Alderwoman Shirley Chambers was hearing about it for the first time.
"I think we need some answers from the school board," said Chambers.
She not only has a passion for the education in her community, but also for the economic development of Moss Point.
"And if the system is down and we can't get funding, that hurts businesses from coming to our city," said Chambers.
Attorney Jesse Mitchell is a partnering attorney working with Musgrove and says the school districts involved will not be paying for any of the legal costs until after the case is resolved.
The lawsuit was actually filed recently, but the Moss Point School District still has two weeks to get on board. If it does, it will be joining 14 other districts across the state in the fight.