Most Mississippi school districts operate on very thin margins, and the vast majority of any district’s budget is made up of salaries. Teachers operate under contract, and districts are bound by law to honor those contracts, so those salaries must be paid through the end of the fiscal year. The remaining district budget is largely committed to expenses that are not negotiable such as bus transportation for children, electric and gas bills, etc.
The discretionary amount of a school district budget is very, very small, and a large portion of that amount is spent early in the year on textbooks, classroom supplies, and materials that prepare teachers and classrooms for the start of school. Therefore, school districts have very little left mid-year on which to operate. A significant reduction in funding at this point will cause a number of districts to be immediately in a deficit, and others will be unable to meet payroll.
If school funding is cut at this point in the school year, districts will have few options available to them if they are to avoid diminishing significantly the education offered children and opening themselves to lawsuits. Please call your legislators, the governor and the lieutenant governor today and help us avoid these cuts.
See how much your school district could lose if the budget is cut 2%, 4%, or 5%.
See how budget cuts will affect our children