JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, June 15, Parents for Public Schools, Inc. (PPS) filed a lawsuit to stop Mississippi state officials from using public money to fund private schools.

The lawsuit was filed in the Chancery Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. It argues that the Mississippi Legislature violated Section 208 of the Mississippi Constitution by appropriating $10 million to private schools.

The suit challenges Senate Bill 2780 and Senate Bill 3064, which are expected to take effect on July 1, 2022.

SB 2780 instructs the Department of Finance and Administration to oversee a program that provides handouts of up to $100,000 to private schools in the state for infrastructure projects, and SB 3064 appropriates $10 million toward the program.

“PPS unequivocally opposes taxpayer dollars being used to support non-public schools,” said Becky Glover, policy analyst at PPS. “Our taxes provide a way for us to build and maintain what we, as a society, agree we all need and want, but can’t afford on our own. So, in addition to the unconstitutionality of this matter is the fact that taxpayers are the primary source of revenue for public infrastructure, as well as public goods and services. Taxes are supposed to serve and support the common good. Private schools are not public.” 

PPS is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Mississippi, Mississippi Center for Justice, and Democracy Forward.