Mississippi lawmakers need to tailor public education funding according to the needs of the student. That's one of the recommendations of EdBuild, the company contracted to provide recommendations for revamping the state's K-12 funding formula.
It was standing room only in the large meeting room at the Capitol to hear EdBuild CEO Rebecca Sibilia, present an overview of her 79 page report on improving funding for public schools in Mississippi. There are 11-two part recommendations. Among her suggestions, fund education based according to student needs, such as those who have learning disabilities or gifted students. She also recommends more monies for low-income students.
"We''re asking that 20 percent in additional resources be provided to low-income students, about 20 percent for English language learners, more resources for students that have specials needs and more money for students in high school," said Sibilia.
The plan calls for funding each student at a base amount between $4,700 and $5,200 per student. Currently the state spends about $4600. Sibilia points out schools districts are more reliant on state dollars than the majority of states in the country. She says wealthier communities could pick up more of the costs. Republican John Moore of Brandon, chairs the House Education Committee.
"I think it was absolutely right down the road with what we were looking for and what we anticipated," said Moore.
Democratic Senator David Blount of Jackson says there's a lot to review.
"It's highly complicated. It needs a thorough review. It needs the input of all parents and teachers and principals in the state," said Blount.
EdBuild's Rebecca Sibilia says lawmakers should spend at least five to eight years phasing in a plan.