Watch for tight school budgets through ‘06 | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Watch for tight school budgets through ‘06

Andy Kanengiser of the C-L reports"Mississippi public schools can expect to face hard times at least through 2006, key lawmakers said Thursday. School superintendents, left with weak budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1, received the gloomy forecast at a meeting in Jackson. Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Chaney, R-Vicksburg, said lawmakers can expect to face a shortfall of at least $270 million for next year. Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, told superintendents from Mississippi's 152 school districts that it will be 'very difficult next year, even with a good year of revenue growth.' The 2005 Legislature will face the same dilemma of trying to fund another round of 8 percent pay raises for teachers and taking care of many other needs, from Medicaid to prisons to expensive insurance plans, Brown said."

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