In a joint meeting of the Senate Education and Appropriations Committees, Chairmen DeBar and Hopson unveiled a Senate proposal to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).
The plan includes fairly minor technical adjustments to the school funding formula that are intended to make full funding more sustainable over time and strengthen school funding for the long term. Importantly, it would leave intact and unchanged the MAEP formula for figuring the base student cost, the primary determinant of school funding. It also would:
- raise from 27% to 29.5% the local contribution cap, which would enhance the equity provision of the formula
- leave the minimum millage required for the local contribution unchanged at 28 mills
- adjust the MAEP inflation component that was enacted during the Barbour administration (see details)
With the adjustments, the Senate plan to fully fund the MAEP would yield a $181.1-million increase in funding for school districts statewide.
Chairman DeBar explained that the MAEP technical changes will be proposed to the Senate in a strike-all amendment to HB 1369 on the Senate floor. The deadline for the general bill to pass the Senate is Wednesday. In the meeting, the Appropriations Committee passed an amended version of the preK-12 funding bill, HB 1613, with full funding of the adjusted MAEP formula, increasing school funding by $181.1-million.
Contact your legislators, Speaker Gunn, and Lt. Gov. Hosemann with this message:
- Support minor technical amendments to the MAEP formula alongside a commitment to FULLY FUND public schools this year
- Keep public funds in PUBLIC schools – amend HB 1671 to remove private school funding
Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770
Speaker Gunn: 601.359.3300
Lt. Gov. Hosemann: 601.359.3200
Some school districts continue to experience a post-pandemic drop in average daily attendance, so a few districts will not see a significant bump in funding, even with the significantly increased investment. Those districts will experience a significant decrease in funding if the MAEP is not fully funded. Chairman DeBar has indicated that his proposal includes a plan for them to be held harmless for any loss this year. See how your district fares with the Senate full funding proposal.
Your calls to your legislators are having a tremendous impact. Please keep it up, and help us drive this across the finish line by asking other public education supporters to call, as well. Let’s get this done for the children and teachers we love! Together, we’ve got this.