MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The Moss Point School District has just two days left to join a lawsuit against the state to recover millions in education funding. A state representative and some citizens in Moss Point said they're are losing optimism the district will take action before time runs out.
"As I always say, the success of one child starts with one person caring enough about their future," Representative Jeramey Anderson said.
Surrounded by dozens of Moss Point kids, Anderson made a last ditch effort to urge Moss Point School Board members to get the cash he says the state owes the district.
"We put you there to make tough calls and tough decisions, and if you can't do that you need to move on," Anderson said.
For months, Anderson and city leaders, including Moss Point Mayor Billy Broomfield, who spent time in the legislature, have asked the board to join a lawsuit to recover a shortfall in state education funding. Under this Mississippi Adequate Education Program, Anderson said Moss Point has been underfunded by $8.3 million.
"They have yet to tell us why they are not voting for it," said Anderson.
"Our young people need to be competitive with all the other young people in this country. In order to do that, we need to make sure we have the right teachers in the classroom with the amount of money that is conducive to educate these young people,' Mayor Broomfield said.
Fanny Joseph has two grandchildren in the district. She said she's disappointed school officials haven't taken action on the issue.
"We haven't had a new school in over 40 years except at Magnolia Junior High and that happened because of Katrina. Some of the kids going to school do not have the material that they need to take home to study," Joseph said.
Daycare and preschool owner Mary Odom is also concerned. She's praying time doesn't run out on getting the millions owed to the district.
"Make the right decision for children. There is still time," Odom said.
"I just want people to know that time is of the essence, the window of opportunity is closing fast. The school board needs to think of what the best interest for our young people," Broomfield said.
Anderson said the district has until Friday to join the lawsuit without having to get permission from the court. WLOX reached out to the school district about the MAEP funding issue, but officials had no comment at this time.