Is Education a Real Priority of the MS Legislature?

For the current school year (2011-2012), the MAEP is underfunded by $237-million
Four consecutive years of budget cuts have resulted in:

oThe loss of over 3,000 education personnel
oIncreased class size
oReduced elective options
oReduced advanced placement offerings
oReduced gifted classes
oReduced intervention programs for struggling students
o Reduced extracurricular activities

Though virtually every state leader claims to hold public education as a priority, schools have borne a disproportionate share of the budget cuts over the last four years. Funding for schools continues to decrease, both in actual dollars and as a percent of the overall state budget. K-12 education has lost ground steadily in terms of the percent of the state budget allocated to our schools. 
 
Since 2010, total state appropriations to K-12 education have decreased by 4.79%, while the whole state budget has grown by 3.57%. If funding is evidence of priority, as many legislators suggest, then we have lost ground in terms of the priority placed on school funding by our state leaders. Click here to read more.

See below the graphic representation of funding for education versus the rest of the state budget.


 
     
 
 K-12’s Shrinking Share – Even with Stimulus Funds 
 
 
    Source:  State of Mississippi Budget FY09, FY10, FY11, FY12
 
 
 Cuts to K-12 vs. Other State Agencies for FY12 and FY11 


 

Source:  State of Mississippi Budget FY11, FY12
 
 
  Source:  State of Mississippi Budget FY10, FY11
 
What’s ahead for K-12 funding?
 
The Legislative Budget Committee (LBC) will consider, in the fall of 2011, its recommendation for the state budget for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13). Most state agencies will present their FY13 budget requests during hearings before the LBC September 19-22, 2011. The Mississippi Department of Education will present its budget request at 10:30 a.m. on September 22 on the first floor of the Woolfolk Building in Jackson. The LBC will meet November 14-17 to discuss its budget recommendation and will present its final recommendation by December 13. This budget recommendation will serve as the starting point for budget negotiations during the 2012 Legislative Session, which begins January 3, 2012.

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