JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says his office will, in a timely manner, respond to a school funding lawsuit filed by former Governor Ronnie Musgrove.
The suit was filed August 28 by 14 school districts who claim they have been shortchanged over the past six years by the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) – the state’s public school funding formula.
Musgrove’s suit said a 2006 law says MAEP “shall” be fully funded annually after a three-year phase-in period, and the state has not spent the money. The suit is asking for $115 million, the amount the districts say they are owed. Plaintiffs also want the court to force lawmakers to never again under-fund the program.
But Hood says Musgrove’s suit is flawed because research by his office found “that courts in other states have unanimously found that, absent a contractual obligation of agreed order, acts of one legislative session cannot bind subsequent sessions.”
The Attorney General’s office has 30 days to file its response with the courts.