Miss. schools request more cash in lean budget

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s top education official is requesting an additional $305 million for the coming year — a request he acknowledges is unlikely to be fulfilled.

State Superintendent of Education Tom Burnham says the biggest part of the request is $255 million to meet requirements of a complex funding formula.

The formula, called the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, was put into state law in 1997. It attempts to give each school district enough money to meet midlevel academic standards.

MAEP was underfunded by $237 million in the current budget year, which started last July 1. Burnham says the formula would add $18 million for the coming year, bringing the total growth to $255 million.

House Appropriations Chairman Herb Frierson says adding money to education would mean cutting spending for other programs.