Politicians boast about providing “level funding” to schools, but that term is deceiving. All school districts are going into an ever-deeper budget hole, as flat state appropriations do not cover legislatively mandated cost increases that occur each year, such as the “step” salary increase state law provides teachers for each additional year of service. When each teacher’s salary increases annually, and state funding stays level, school district finances go in the red. Districts are forced to raise local taxes or cut programs to balance their budgets.
Governor Bryant has signed HB 1643, the education appropriation that under-funds schools for the coming year by $172-million. The Legislature has shorted public schools almost $2-billion since the 2007-2008 school year, the last time they received full funding as required by state law. Though school funding statewide for 2016-2017 will be flat (level with the current year), individual districts will gain or lose funding due to changes in attendance and/or local contribution. See the effect on your school district here.
The deadline for teacher non-renewal notification, which is tied to the date that the budget bill is signed, is May 27.
If you are fed up with the political status quo that puts handouts to corporate cronies (and corrupt campaign finance practices) ahead of an adequate education for our children, join us. Together, we can hold politicians accountable for their stewardship of our tax dollars and win a better day for Mississippi and our children.