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Governor’s signature implements new public school funding formula in Mississippi

Mississippi officially has a new funding formula for K-12 public education.

Republican Governor Tate Reeves’ signature on House Bill 4130, or the Mississippi School Funding Formula, has enshrined a new mechanism to determine how to allocate money to public school districts statewide, doing away with the oft-criticized Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).

In his first term as House Speaker, Republican Jason White was adamant that the legislature would not be funding MAEP this session and was deadset on implementing a new formula — one that was geared toward the specific needs of students. That effort was met with resistance in the Senate with leaders in the chamber seeking to keep MAEP, which had only been funded three times since its implementation in 1997, intact but with modifications.

After months of infighting between the two chambers and multiple attempts to usurp one another through the legislative process, the House stuck to its guns in persistently pushing its proposal, initially tabbed the INSPIRE Act, and refusing to budge on any plans to keep MAEP afloat.

The Senate ultimately acquiesced to its cross-chamber counterpart on the stipulation that the House change the title of the formula and that a couple of tweaks to the legislation were made, including upping the base cost dedicated to each student.

After the edits were made, the Mississippi Student Funding Formula flew through its originating chamber with Republicans, Democrats, and Independents unanimously agreeing. Following the Senate committee’s decision, the full floor took a vote with only three dissenting votes. Reeves, a proponent of the House’s plan, then followed through with his support by signing the bill into law on Wednesday.

The Mississippi Student Funding Formula provides a minimal base student cost of $6,695 with more money being allocated per pupil based on the number of students coming from low-income households, ones that are English language learners, ones who have special needs, and other factors intended to up the funding for districts with the largest needs. The new funding, unlike MAEP, is also not nearly as complicated to understand, per the House speaker.

“I could bring an iPad up

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