Dick Molpus spoke to members of the Meridian chapter of Parents for Public Schools Tuesday night.
Molpus, who served three terms as Mississippi Secretary of State, and his wife, Sally, founded Parents for Public Schools.
He told the local chapter that a thriving community comes from thriving public schools.
Molpus said didn't agree with an earlier version, but he believes the Mississippi Legislature has carved out a good bill expanding charter schools in the state. He says the key is sufficient funding.
"We've got to remember that we are $300 million underfunded from the Mississippi Adequate Education Act. So we can tinker around the edges, but until we make sure that we have enough financial resources, our students will always be left behind. We are 50th in financial resources; we're 50th in achievement. And it's not just a coincidence those numbers match up," Molpus said.