Critical Points in MAEP Revamp

Posted 11/10/16

The school funding revamp remains a pressing concern for public school supporters. Here's the latest...

Public hearings about possible changes to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) have not yet been scheduled, however, Lt. Gov. Reeves and Speaker Gunn have set up an email address for the public to use to provide input. You can send your thoughts and suggestions to: schoolfinance@ls.ms.gov. Please weigh in on the factors you believe are critical to consider in any changes that are made to the way our children's education is funded.

Funding for our public schools should be sufficient to allow Mississippi students to compete well with the children of every other state and country.

These components are absolutely necessary to include in Mississippi's school funding law:

1. An objective, formula-driven base student cost that:
• keeps pace with inflation and considers increasing demands on districts
• ensures that school funding is based on what schools need
• avoids subjecting school funding to political whims

2. A means for providing equitable resources for all children that:
• ensures that children in low wealth communities have funding that is on par with the funding in higher wealth communities
• avoids shifting more of the school funding burden to the local level in high wealth communities

In October, EdBuild, the firm the leadership hired to recommend changes to the MAEP, met with state lawmakers. The firm's representative promoted a "fair" student funding system that uses a base student cost plus multipliers to ensure that individual student needs are met. A good bit of time was spent explaining how the multipliers would provide additional funding for students with various needs. Almost no time was spent discussing how the base cost would be determined. Because the base cost will be the driver of all student funding, details about how this component will be determined from year to year are of critical importance. See vital information about this issue here.

Please continue to encourage your legislators to insist on a formula that moves Mississippi forward, not backward. Our children deserve nothing less!