The last year that Mississippi’s public schools were fully funded was 2008; state revenue now is back to 2008 levels and is expected to continue to rise. House Bill 1476, however, funds the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) for the school year 2014-2015 (FY2015) almost $100-million below the level received by schools in 2008.
HB 1476 includes an increase in MAEP of $72-million for FY2015 over FY2014. Of that amount, $64.6-million is directed to the teacher pay raise and $7.4-million to fund the other day-to-day costs of educating our children.
The MAEP is underfunded in the current school year by $293-million, although Mississippi ended the 2013 fiscal year with a $295-million surplus. School districts have been underfunded significantly every year since 2009. Over the last six years, the funding the Legislature provided for public schools is $1.5-billion below what state law requires.
HB 1476 provides for the following funds outside of the MAEP:
- $10-million for the Public School Building Fund
- Full funding of the Chickasaw Cession
- Full funding of the National Board Certification program
- $6-million for early childhood education
- $15-million for literacy initiatives
- $12-million for teacher supplies
- $6-million for Teach for America
- $1.5-million for performance-based compensation pilot
- $1.2-million for digital interactive learning pilot
- $5.5-million for Mississippi Community Oriented Policing Services in Schools (MCOPS)