November 5, 2015 by Brett Kittredge
Over the past four years, Mississippi has enacted a number of student-centered education reforms that have empowered parents with new education options for their children. These reforms, including A-F grading of school districts, third-grade reading gate, charter schools, and the education scholarship account program for students with special needs, are working and changing lives.
With the education status quo fighting many of these changes, the Empower PAC is designed to support candidates who took these often difficult votes- as well as to support challengers against those who have not stood up for children.
In the past year, Empower PAC has had great success, supporting both Republican and Democratic candidates in primaries and the general election. Here is a look at highlights from the past year:
- During the August primary, 15 of the 19 candidates supported by Empower won.
- Four Republican challengers defeated anti-school choice incumbent Republicans who had 38 combined years of legislative experience.
- Empower supported Rep. Deborah Dixon, a Democrat, who fended off a strong challenge from her own party.
- Dixon was one of three Democrats supported by Empower this year.
- In the general election, 29 of 32 candidates supported by Empower won on Tuesday, including 22 of 25 who had contested races.
- In the 17 general elections races where both Empower and the Mississippi Association of Educators union supported candidates, 14 backed by Empower won compared to just three supported by the union.
- Between the primary and general election, just two of the approximately 95 legislators in both chambers who supported school choice were defeated.
- Empower donated to the Improve Mississippi Political Initiative Committee as part of their successful efforts in defeating Initiative 42.
Education was at the center of Tuesday’s elections, with proponents of Initiative 42 making the case that more money is the solution to our education woes, not the student-centered education reforms we have seen over the past four years. Voters made the choice, both in whom they elected to be their representative in the legislature and with the defeat of Initiative 42, that we should put children- and not the education status quo- first.