Barbour’s plan gives schools $800K less

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

The difference between full education funding and the governor’s plan for Natchez is $806,247.

And that’s $806,247 the Natchez-Adams School District needs, Superintendent Anthony Morris told the school board Thursday.

“If you’ve been watching the news, there is some back and forth on that,” Morris said. “Personally, I support full funding of MAEP and not the governor’s recommendation.”

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The Mississippi Adequate Education Program is a formula the state education department developed several years ago that gives public schools the money they need to perform on state standards.

The governor’s plan includes $18,320,464 for Natchez, while full funding would mean $19,126,711.

The $806,247 makes a difference, Morris said after the meeting.

“I’m basing it on what we’ve had to live with in the past,” he said. “Our school board does everything that it can in the budget preparation to not cause a tax increase, but costs are continuing to increase.”

Mississippi education officials announced Thursday that they actually need $33.8 million less from the state than they originally asked for the fully funded MAEP — a more than $2 billion program.

The new calculations figure in federal dollars the state will receive because of Hurricane Katrina.