State Auditor Shad White has verified the preliminary cost calculation of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for Fiscal Year 2020, which is generated by the Mississippi Department of Education. Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, and Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn were notified by letter.

Each year, the Office of the State Auditor is required to review the Mississippi Department of Education cost calculation of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. For Fiscal Year 2020, the Auditor’s office verified the accuracy of the projected cost based on data supplied by the Mississippi Department of Education.

The State Auditor’s office has also released a performance review of school attendance data and policies. The review addresses discrepancies in absence records and recommends that the Mississippi Department of Education complete an in-depth study of current attendance standards.

Regarding the review of school attendance, State Auditor Shad White said:

“My office is going to continue to be vigilant in making sure education money is spent properly. One part of doing that is determining whether attendance counts are accurate. Those counts are a key part of the education funding formula. Our research shows that some schools need to improve their practices on counting students, particularly when it comes to training substitute teachers on taking attendance. But on another level, our report is encouraging. We found few instances of double counting students, for example. Education is a large part of our state’s budget and is important to me personally—I’m a product of public schools and the son and grandson of public school teachers—so this will not be the end of our work on our schools.”

The verification letter and audit review report can be found online at the Auditor’s website.

State Auditor Shad White Press Release