The bills that would take up the recommendations to alter the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula have died.
The formula, which dictates how public schools receive their funding, is 20 years old. The legislature had hired New Jersey non-profit Edbuild to make recommendations for change.
Though the bills are dead, the efforts to change the formula will continue, according to a joint statement from Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn:
“We are dedicated to revamping the current formula, which is seriously flawed and needs to be replaced with a plan that focuses on student needs in the classroom,”said Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Governor Tate Reeves in a joint statement. “Superintendents and school business officers complain about the significant variability in dollars from year-to-year; therefore, we agree that any change should limit any appreciable impact on school districts for the 2017-2018 school year. We agree that passing something by today’s deadline has no bearing on accomplishing our ultimate goal.”
EdBuild recommended switching from the current formula to a “weighted-student” formula that would base funding on the needs of student populations in various school districts.
Another recommendation would shift some of the financial burden of public school funding to the local districts. Right now, the state covers 73 percent of the funding.
Local districts feared that a shift in that responsibility would bring tax hikes on the local level.
For more information on the EdBuild recommendations, click here.