Legislative leaders are dealing with a litany of requests for new revenue.
The biggest single requested increase for an education entity is $245.4 million to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which is the mechanism used to provide state funds to local school districts. It has been fully funded only twice since being fully enacted in 2003 and has been underfunded more than $2 billion since 2008.
The remainder of the request, minus that for MAEP, includes funds to hire more literacy coaches to work in the early grades and an additional $6 million for the state’s per-kindergarten program. Currently the program receives $4 million, but has received national recognition for its high standards.
State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright said Mississippi is making strides in improving education.
While the state is still lagging in many education categories, she said such programs as the pre-K programs and requirements that children read on grade level before advancing past certain grades are having an impact.
“Our children are achieving,” she said.
Will President-Elect Trump’s Selection For Secretary of Education Lead Dismantling of Common Core As Promised?