News on School Funding

Yesterday, Governor Bryant signed HB 1502, the school funding bill, an action which starts the clock ticking on teacher non-renewal notices. Districts must issue written notice by April 28 to any teacher whose contract will not be renewed for the 2017-2018 school year.

You can see here how much state funding your district will receive next year, how much it is underfunded, and how much it has been underfunded since 2008, the last time schools received the funding required by our state law, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).

EdBuild, the New Jersey firm legislative leaders hired to rewrite our school funding law, promotes what it calls “fair” school funding, or funding that is equitable from one part of a state to another. But what about from state to state? How does Mississippi school funding compare to what other states provide their students and teachers?

You can see here what your child’s school would receive if it were located in one of our neighbor states or funded at the national average.

Currently, Mississippi funds schools at a level that is so far below what our neighboring states provide their students that even full MAEP funding wouldn’t make up the difference. Interestingly, EdBuild has recommended changing the MAEP in ways that would lower our state’s financial obligation to Mississippi students, providing even less than what our current law requires. Do you think that’s “fair?”

When it comes to achievement, our Legislature expects our students to measure up in state-to-state comparisons. Shouldn’t our students and teachers be provided resources that will level the playing field on which they are asked to compete? We will continue to watch for updates on the effort to rewrite the MAEP, and we promise to keep you posted.

Meanwhile, ask your friends and neighbors to join our effort to ensure that each Mississippi child has a strong public school. Share our sign-up link on Facebook and Twitter, and email or text it to your contacts: Together, we’ve got this!

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