SuperTalk Mississippi
Featured News Latest News Politics Trending News

Governor’s signature implements new public school funding formula in Mississippi

Tate Reeves income tax
Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

Mississippi officially has a new funding formula for K-12 public education.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves’ signature on House Bill 4130, or the Mississippi School Funding Formula, has enshrined a new mechanism to determine how to allocate money to public school districts statewide, doing away with the oft-criticized Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).

In his first term as House Speaker, Republican Jason White was adamant that the legislature would not be funding MAEP this session and was deadset on implementing a new formula — one that was geared toward the specific needs of students. That effort was met with resistance in the Senate with leaders in the chamber seeking to keep MAEP, which had only been funded three times since its implementation in 1997, intact but with modifications.

After months of infighting between the two chambers and multiple attempts to usurp one another through the legislative process, the House stuck to its guns in persistently pushing its proposal, initially tabbed the INSPIRE Act, and refusing to budge on any plans to keep MAEP afloat.

The Senate ultimately acquiesced to its cross-chamber counterpart on the stipulation that the House change the title of the formula and that a couple of tweaks to the legislation were made, including upping the base cost dedicated to each student.

After the edits were made, the Mississippi Student Funding Formula flew through its originating chamber with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents unanimously agreeing. Following the Senate committee’s decision, the full floor took a vote with only three dissenting votes. Reeves, a proponent of the House’s plan, then followed through with his support by signing the bill into law on Wednesday.

The Mississippi Student Funding Formula provides a minimal base student cost of $6,695 with more money being allocated per pupil based on the number of students coming from low-income households, ones that are English language learners, ones who have special needs, and other factors intended to up the funding for districts with the largest needs. The new funding, unlike MAEP, is also not nearly as complicated to understand, per the House speaker, and issues an additional $218 toward education this year.

“I could bring an iPad up here and I can say, ‘How do you want to tweak this? You want to put more emphasis on low income? You want to put more emphasis on special education? You want to put more emphasis on workforce development? Here are the weights.’ You can tweak them any way you want, plus in the base student costs, and it gives you a number,” White touted. “It’s very easy to understand.”

The new formula will be recalculated every four years with lawmakers believing different mechanisms within will hold them more accountable to fully funding on a regular basis. It will go into effect on July 1.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.

Related posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More