Initiative 42 gets ‘Super’ endorsement

Published 10:04 am Friday, August 21, 2015

Initiative 42’s campaign for better public schools scored points Thursday with a video endorsement from Vicksburg native and Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler, whose final-seconds interception gave the championship to his New England Patriots.

“It’s very important for a kid to get a good education,” Butler says in the 50-second video released by the 42 For Better Schools campaign spearheading passage of Initiative 42 on the Nov. 3 ballot. “This football — or any kind of sport — it can break your heart, but, you know, you need that education to take you a long way.”

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

Initiative 42 is the citizen-led ballot measure to require the Legislature to abide by its 1997 law and fully fund some 150 school districts, which are home to 90 percent of the state’s K-12 public school students. Voters will decide whether to adopt the amendment on Nov. 3.

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The organizations website lists the Vicksburg Warren School District as being shortchanged more than $27.4 million by the Legislature, enough for 274,000 textbooks, 91,000 computers, 288 school busses or 80 teachers for 10 years.

A 2009 Vicksburg High School graduate, Butler, 25, attended the University of West Alabama and joined the Patriots in 2014 as an undrafted free agent cornerback after his senior year. He began college at Hinds Community College and then played at Alcorn State University.

Butler endorsed the ballot measure and said, “Tell your friends and neighbors to vote ‘yes’ on 42.”

The announcement comes days after District 55 state Rep. Oscar Denton, D-Vicksburg, threw his support behind same measure.

“The people took it upon themselves to get names … to be able to put the referendum on the ballot. I stand with the people,” Denton told members of Vicksburg Lions Club during their meeting Wednesday.

Denton, while encouraging people to support the measure, said voters, regardless of their opinion, need to turn out at the polls Nov. 3.