Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Wants to Set Aside $3 Million on 'Patriotic Education Fund'

Illustration for article titled Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves Wants to Set Aside $3 Million on 'Patriotic Education Fund'
Photo: MANDEL NGAN (Getty Images)

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) seems dead set on doing everything but addressing the pandemic currently ravaging his state. His latest venture into headassery is calling for $3 million of the state’s budget to be set aside for the “Patriotic Education Fund.”


According to The Hill, the funding would go to schools that don’t engage in what Reeves calls “revisionist history” that is “poisoning a generation.” It is insane how much 2020’s No. 1 The Root 100 honoree and creator of The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, has managed to get these white men in their feelings.

“Across the country, young children have suffered from indoctrination in far-left socialist teachings that emphasize America’s shortcomings over the exceptional achievements of this country,” Reeves wrote in his budget proposal. “Capitalism, democracy, and other uniquely American values have been the victims of a targeted campaign from foreign and domestic influence—aiming to destroy the pillars of our society.”

God, reading that made me feel like I was in a toxic relationship with this article.

That whole paragraph basically boiled down to “Yes, this country may have committed mass genocide against indigenous peoples, enslaved and tortured countless Africans, committed whole-ass treason to preserve the institution of slavery, instituted Jim Crow laws and greatly exacerbated income inequality through unchecked capitalism, but dammit, we put a man on the moon. Why don’t you talk more about that?”

Also, with regards to his little comment about democracy, the last I checked, it was the sitting Republican president who’s currently waging an unhinged assault on democracy because he can’t take an L.

Reeves, whose face answers the question “What would a toddler look like if it reached middle age?” also called for funding to be reduced for schools that choose not to hold in-person classes. In the proposal, Reeves states that the “Mississippi Department of Education budget provides each district with funding for classroom learning, janitorial and food service staff, school bus operation, utilities, and other expenses related to in-person operations.”


He adds that schools choosing to engage in distance learning “continue to get significant funding for these expenses, yet the resources are not being utilized.”

According to Mississippi Today, educators in the state had beef with Reeves’ logic on both of his education proposals. The Mississippi Association of Educators released a lengthy statement that basically called Reeves a whole-ass hypocrite.


“When we requested statewide COVID reporting standards and guidance on how to address teacher absences during the pandemic, we were told unequivocally that districts best knew how to handle their response. Now that some districts have elected to keep buildings closed because they believe they do not have the staff and resources to safely serve their district’s students and families, the governor has decided that they can no longer be trusted to do what’s best,” the statement read.

I don’t know about y’all, but that sounded like they just told the governor to square-up. Granted, instigating would be my sport in the Hood Olympics, so it could just be me.


They also had a problem with Reeves’ “Patriotic Education” proposal, writing:

[W]hile we field calls from educators lacking PPE and cleaning supplies, Governor Reeves is seeking to solve a history curriculum problem that we’ve never once heard a teacher ask about. We have, however, heard from teachers across the state who lack textbooks and paper and pencils and chalk, and deal with toilets that don’t function or window units that are broken when school starts in August.


Goddamn, y’all. Did LeVar Burton write this? ‘Cause they reading his ass.

This also gets to the heart of what’s wrong with Reeves’ budget proposal, overall. If you take a look at the list of priorities on the proposal, the pandemic is listed third from the bottom. Should you take a gander at what Reeves actually writes under the proposal, it’s vague.


“Throughout the pandemic, the Mississippi Department of Health, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and Governor’s Office have worked together to mobilize resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The joint team has utilized data to ensure a targeted response with mask requirements and social distancing rules. It has only been accomplished because the agencies have worked so closely and cooperated fully. MEMA and MSDH, at least, should receive budget considerations for the work that they have done—and they should receive all the resources they need to operate with full efficiency at this critical time,” Reeves writes.

That’s it, that’s all he wrote.

Nothing on increasing PPE supplies for healthcare and education workers, or even funds being put away for the potential distribution of a vaccine. This isn’t surprising, as Reeves has basically just let COVID-19 do its thing in Mississippi. He held off on issuing a statewide mask mandate until August only to let it expire the following month, initially resisted issuing a stay-at-home order, and recently said that he would not participate should a national lockdown be declared.


So yeah, Reeves ain’t the guy Mississippi needs right now, but he’s the one they got. You would think his daughter being exposed to the virus would perhaps change his way of thinking but nope. Citizens dying? That’s fine. Casting the Confederacy in a bad light? Well, I guess that’s where Reeves draws the line.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.



Dude, Mississippi has enough educational issues to worry about, focus on teaching kids simple math and literacy skills