Bryant’s proposal would fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program at $2.02 billion, but $72.9 million of that amount would have to come from local school district reserves.
Local educators often say they do not have reserves, but rather have operating funds that come after local property owners pay their taxes.
The Bryant budget plan falls $73 million short of full funding by relying on local school districts to come up with that amount, said state Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, and former vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
“You’ve got to realize that school districts get their property tax money in January, February and March. By the end of the year in December, they’ve spent down everything,” said Brown, a certified public accountant.
“It’s like you only get paid three times a year — January, February and March — and you’ve got to live on that the rest of the year.”