As the Mississippi Legislature writes the 2013 budget, funding for public schools is likely to be up for debate. Specifically, legislators will consider how much funding to put toward the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which makes up the bulk of public K-12 funding.
Although law requires the Legislature to fund the program, it rarely does. The 2012 budget left MAEP underfunded by $237 million, and this season’s budget discussions aren’t likely to reverse course and provide full funding.
The Department of Education estimated that funding MAEP—the formula for adequate funding for public schools—will cost more than $2.2 billion. Gov. Haley Barbour‘s budget recommendations allot just under $2 billion for the program, a 2 percent cut from fiscal year 2012.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee, chaired by governor-elect Phil Bryant, has recommended level funding for MAEP—no cuts, but nothing to get funding up to “adequate” levels either.
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