As snow swirled outside on Tuesday, Jan. 16, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 957, which aims to rewrite the State's education-funding formula, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
After four hours of debate and 17 rejected Democratic amendments, the Mississippi House of Representatives voted mainly along partisan lines to scrap the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in favor of a new funding formula House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, wrote and then revealed less than a week ago.
The $53 million needed to pay for the first year of a proposed new Mississippi public school funding formula could come from other money currently going to education.
State leaders are inviting the public to attend a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. in Room 113 in the State Capitol to comment on a potential new scheme to provide funding for Mississippi's public schools.
After a few quick months of touring around Mississippi, speaking with lawmakers, administrators, teachers and students, EdBuild released its 80-page recommendations report to Mississippi lawmakers, suggesting the state move to a weighted, student-centered school-funding formula.
EdBuild's recommendations to change the state's school-funding formula will be ready before the deadline to introduce legislation, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves told the Stennis Capitol Press Forum on Monday.
Legislative leaders have hired New Jersey-based nonprofit EdBuild to evaluate the state's school-funding formula, the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. The State uses MAEP to appropriate tax dollars to school districts throughout the state.
For the first time, Mississippians got an official forum Thursday to sound off to EdBuild, the New Jersey education consulting company the state contracted under opaque circumstances to vet the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula.
Mississippi's education-funding formula could change any time until Feb. 9 after the House Appropriations and Senate Education committees moved forward dummy bills Tuesday on deadline day this week, keeping them alive to revisit and alter later.
"Like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." That's the way Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, described the joint meeting between the House and Senate Education Committees yesterday.
After a litany of lawsuits, public outcry and legislative drama, Mississippi's GOP leaders have joined forces with a New Jersey-based nonprofit to see if the state's public-school funding formula should change.