Mississippi schools to seek $320 million budget increase

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi’s public school system will seek an additional $320 million for the 2014 budget year, according to figures released Thursday.

Each year, the state Board of Education must compute the amount called for under the state’s K-12 funding formula, called the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Under the 1997 law that created MAEP, that’s the amount the school board must ask lawmakers to provide.

Most years, lawmakers don’t spend what MAEP calls for. It’s been fully funded only twice since its creation.

In the 2013 budget, which began July 1, schools received $2.035 billion. That’s $19 million more than in 2012, but $251 million less than the formula demanded.

In 2014, MAEP calls for $2.356 billion. The budget would have to rise 16 percent, or $321 million, to hit the target.