JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The MidSouth Association Independent Schools is calling for Governor Tate Reeves to open the largest MAIS stadium to full capacity, citing that COVID-19 cases in MAIS schools are “remarkably low.”
MAIS officials believe the governor should recognize private school events as “business operations” and not subject to the 25 percent capacity limit for gatherings.
MAIS released the following statement in the petition:
Full capacity at the Fair is easily 20,000+. Full capacity at the largest MAIS stadium venue is only 3,500, but under your current order it is limited to 875. How is that fair?
You are permitting the State Fair to open at full capacity by classifying it as a “business operation” because fair revenues fund the fairground. Private school athletic events are also business operations; their revenues fund schools. In particular, for many schools, football revenues fund other athletic programs that are not self-supporting, such as girls soccer, volleyball, tennis, golf, archery, etc.
We agree with you that “small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our economy.” According to the 2019 PEER Staff Legislative Assistance memo, Mississippi’s private schools have a $210 million economic impact on the state, plus represent $240 million in cost avoidance to the state treasury. Therefore, we implore you to lift the restrictions on private schools’ freedom to operate their businesses at capacity. When these small businesses cannot operate at capacity, you deprive them of much needed revenue and potentially devastate their fragile economic positions. Closure would mean great harm to the children, families, employees, and other businesses in their communities and to the state’s economy as a whole.MidSouth Association Independent Schools
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