School Funding Compromise Passes the House

Thank you for your calls on school funding! The House and Senate have come to an agreement on the school funding law that we believe is a good compromise. It includes an objective formula that has components similar to the MAEP as well as increased needs-based funding similar to that proposed by the House.

This afternoon, the House introduced and passed HB 4130, which creates the Mississippi Student Funding Formula to replace the MAEP, Mississippi’s school funding law implemented in 1997 that made history as one of the first in the country to make equity in school funding a priority.

The school funding law proposed in HB 4130 includes each of the essential elements that education associations outlined in a letter to the Legislature earlier in this session: an objective formula for determining the base student cost, an inflation factor to account for rising costs, an equity component that requires more of school districts with a strong local tax base and less of lower-wealth communities, and additional funding for circumstances that increase the cost of education such as poverty, special education, and English language instruction, based on the needs of each district’s student population. While we will continue to examine the bill and follow closely any changes made throughout the process, these are the pros and cons, based upon our initial review…


  • Provides a projected increase in funding statewide of approximately $220-million
  • Does a good job of getting more money to our highest need school districts
  • Contains an objective formula for determining the base student cost, not leaving it to the whims of the Legislature
  • Has a higher base cost than the base cost in INSPIRE
  • Stipulates that the base student cost in any year may not be lower than the base student cost in the preceding year
  • Contains an inflation factor that is more robust than the inflation factor in INSPIRE, effective immediately, yielding significantly more funding in out years than INSPIRE
  • Includes more funding for special education and gifted services, poverty, English language learner support, career and technical programs, and sparsely populated districts than the MAEP in year one and will include more than INSPIRE in out years, as the base cost grows at a faster pace (needs-based funding amounts are percentages of the base cost)
  • Holds school districts harmless for three years, requiring that each district’s funding shall not be less than the district’s total FY2024 allocation, even if enrollment declines
  • Funds all students, using net enrollment to allocate funds rather than average daily attendance
  • Allows an opportunity for review and update of the new formula, requiring that MDE provide recommendations for any technical amendments needed prior to the 2025 Legislative Session


  • The base student cost is less than that in either the MAEP or the Senate’s proposed adjusted MAEP, resulting in less school funding statewide in out years than would be called for by either MAEP plan
  • The rushed process leaves little time for educators and advocates to evaluate central pieces of the plan, including the base student cost calculation, to ensure that it reflects accurately the cost to educate a typical Mississippi child to proficiency based on state academic standards and the overall impact of the proposal

The bill now will go to the Senate for committee and floor votes. We will continue to analyze the bill and report to you any concerns.

Please continue to reach out to legislators about these bills:

HB 765, as it passed the Senate, allows the Mississippi Critical Teacher Shortage Act to remain as law by extending the repeal date, expands the Winter-Reed Teacher Loan Repayment Program, and authorizes a $1,000 across-the-board teacher pay raise. SUPPORT THE SENATE VERSION.

HB 1229,
 as it passed the Senate, requires that, in order to receive ESA funds, private voucher schools must meet the statutory requirements of the ESA voucher program and report participating student data on AP and college admissions tests and graduation and college acceptance rates. The bill mandates that students be accepted by a qualifying voucher school before being added to the program’s waiting list. SUPPORT THE SENATE VERSION.

HB 1618 
revives the retired teachers bill, allowing retired teachers to work full time in critical shortage areas while receiving PERS benefits. The language was added to the Senate version of the PERS bill, which keeps the PERS board intact but limits unilateral board action and rescinds the 2% increase in the employer contribution. SUPPORT ALLOWING RETIRED TEACHERS TO RETURN TO THE CLASSROOM WHILE DRAWING PERS BENEFITS.

HB 1823 
is the public school appropriation bill. The Senate version provides a $206-million increase in MAEP funding and a $1,000 across-the-board teacher pay raise, with a total increase over current-year funding of $256-million. The House version of the bill provides a $250-million increase over current-year funding but appropriates it toward the INSPIRE Act, which has no objective formula for the base cost, keeps funding stagnant for the next three years, and has a weak inflation factor that would prevent overall school funding from keeping pace with rising expenses. With a new funding formula under consideration that projects a $220-million increase, please urge your legislators to appropriate at least that amount.

HB 1988,
the Children’s Promise Act, as it passed the Senate, has no increase in tax credits for private schools. The bill could come back from conference with millions more in state tax dollars to subsidize private schools, with some private schools eligible for more per student in state tax dollars than public schools receive. These schools are subject to no oversight, no audits, and no accountability. VOTE NO.

Find contact information for legislators here.

Speaker White: 601.359.3300

Lt. Gov. Hosemann: 601.359.3200

Thank you for your diligence and for hanging with us through this long and tumultuous legislative session. Our children and teachers are counting on us, so please be sure to weigh in with your legislators on these very important issues. Your voice matters! You can find updates on these and other bills on our Bill Tracker throughout the process. Together, we’ve got this!

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