Legislative leaders are taking steps to change how the state pays for public education.
The Mississippi Adequate Education Program is the formula that tells lawmakers how much money should go towards the state's public education system.
It's intended to make sure every student in the state gets a quality education. No matter if they lived in a rich or poor school district.
But some lawmakers are questioning whether the program is still working.
“It has been 20 years since this formula was created so it’s time to reevaluate the effectiveness? Is the formula doing what we want it to do?” says Republican Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.
Along with Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, Gunn announced yesterday that lawmakers are looking to make changes to the formula.
“We have been fighting hard to see that the teachers have what they need to instruct our children. We are working hard to see that the children have what they need to get a good education. So we want to make that as many dollars as possible get into the classroom.”
According to Gunn, lawmakers entered into a contract with New Jersey-based, non-profit Ed Build. They will review the formula and suggest changes in the coming months.
“We want to decide that if it makes sense to the state to change the funding formula that we’re doing it in a way that’s focused on doing what’s best for kids, increasing funding in the classroom while not increasing funding in the district office," says Reeves.
Since its adoption in 1997, MAEP has only been fully funded twice, in 2003 and 2008.