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Prominent Business Leaders Call on Mississippi Legislature to Pass Universal School Choice Bill

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

  • Sixty business leaders have called on the Mississippi Legislature to pass universal school choice.

House Education Committee Chairman Rob Roberson filed HB 1449, the Mississippi Student Freedom Act. The bill, as written, would phase in a universal school choice program that would allow every child in Mississippi the option of attending the school of their choice within five years of passage.

Sixty prominent business leaders from across the state have sent a letter to Governor Tate Reeves, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, Speaker Jason White, and legislative leadership in support of the legislation and more broadly of empowering families to make decisions about what is best for their children when it comes to education.

Signatories including the likes of C Spire CEO Hu Meena, former Ambassador Mike Retzer, William Mounger II, Wirt Yerger III, and Chip Crane, among others.

Several of the people listed in the letter have not only built some of Mississippi’s most successful companies, but also have been pivotally involved in building and supporting the Republican Party in Mississippi.

Letter organizer Abb Payne runs the Payne Companies.

“States all over the country, especially the South, are moving to give parents more education options and we just didn’t want to see Mississippi left behind,” Payne told Magnolia Tribune. “If Mississippi is improving at a slower rate than our neighboring states, we’re losing.”

Payne said he got involved because he realized the business community had not been engaged in the conversation on school choice. He explained that his family had been fortunate to have education options to help his daughter, who has dyslexia, and he believes every family should be empowered with those type of options. He said that once word got out about the letter, leaders came “out of the woodwork” to sign on.

“These leaders know what it takes to grow a business and having an educated workforce is critical. School choice has worked everywhere it’s been tried and it’s time we made it widely available in Mississippi,” said Payne.

A full copy of the letter sent to leaders is copied below.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Read original article by clicking here.

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