Initiative 42 is not simply about better school funding because the plain language ultimately vests authority to decide what is "adequate" and "efficient" with the chancery courts.

Read the full proposed amendment for yourself. Additions to Section 201 of the Mississippi Constitution are underlined and strikethroughs are deletions:

SECTION 201. To protect each child's fundamental right to educational opportunity, The Legislature the State shall, by general law, provide for the establishment, maintenance and support of an adequate and efficient system of free public schools, upon such conditions and limitations as the Legislature may prescribe. The chancery courts of this State shall have the power to enforce this section with appropriate injunctive relief.

The petition you may have signed just to get the initiative on the ballot differs from the actual language of the constitutional amendment printed above.

The plain language on the ballot is wildly open-ended and subjects the state to endless litigation, even under full MAEP funding. The amendment is a trial lawyer's dream. Who says even MAEP is "adequate" or "efficient?"

Mostly, any amendment that vests so much power in the courts is problematic in a democratic republic because, under our system of government, the judiciary doesn't legislate, the Legislature does.

Ironically, since Republicans gained control of the Legislature in 2011, K-12 funding has increased $288 million, historic by any measure, so you have to be careful about who you believe.

Initiative 42 is about as grassroots as the Communist Party. Top Democrats organized several years ago and set up a propaganda mill that's seeped into the public schools and parent organizations.

K-12 was funded at its highest level ever under Republican leadership, $2.52 billion in Fiscal 2016.

The MAEP line item doesn't tell the entire K-12 appropriations story.

Programs funded outside MAEP (FY 2016) total $155.2 million and include:

• Pre-K programs (including Mississippi Building Blocks) - $6 million

• Buildings and buses - $16 million

• Critical Teacher Shortage Program - $1.5 million

• Drop-out Prevention - $1.3 million

• Dyslexia Grants - $300,000

• Educable Child - $15 million (This program centers on serving special needs children).

• Special Needs scholarships - $3 million.

There's just no question 42 is headed for court because at least one enterprising trial lawyer somewhere is going to sue the state claiming that a child is being denied his or her newly created constitutional right to a free "adequate" and "efficient" public education.

With only about half of the $2.52 billion in taxpayer funding getting to Mississippi classrooms, we ought to be debating education reform before simply appropriating more money by court order.

A recent 71-page independent PEER report shows that of the 20 school districts with the highest 2014 general administrative expenditures, 12 were rated "D" or "F."

The "Better schools" slogan makes for a great bumper sticker, but so did "Hope and change" and look how much worse off many hard-working people are today.

Read the plain language and vote "Against" Initiative 42 on Nov. 3.