Taking funds from district doesn’t make sense

Published 12:31 am Friday, January 12, 2018

Mississippi lawmakers are mulling changes to the state’s education funding formula and unfortunately the plans fail to prioritize education highly enough to make a big impact on our state’s future.

Our state lags behind others in the country and the South in educational quality and economic development success. That’s a direct reflection of the lack of priority placed on public education by state leaders.

Unfortunately, the potential new formula being discussed would further clip funding going to Natchez-Adams County, which will hurt our district’s efforts to improve.

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The potential new formula would cut per-student spending in the Natchez-Adams School District by $69.

While spending alone will not improve public education, taking money away from an already struggling district makes no logical sense either.

As outlined, the formula would require the state increase education funding by $107 million over what the state is spending on K-12 schools this year.

To give perspective on how that applies to the current funding formula that the state rarely ever follows, the new formula, with the additional $107 million in spending over the current year, would still be $157 million less than what state law currently mandates.

Of course, lawmakers have only fully funded the current formula twice in the last 20 years.

Rather than just reworking another formula that state leaders can then ignore, lawmakers would be better off working to reduce government in other ways and using those funds to seriously invest in education.

Mississippi’s future will be better if they do.