Budget: Barbour rewind pragmatic

Gov. Haley Barbour’s decision to move forward with the state’s application for $98 million for school districts from the recent education stimulus bill passed by Congress was a pragmatic reversal of an ill-advised initial response.

Barbour said earlier this month that the state might have to cut funds from other agencies to give additional funds to education and spend more on education than the Legislature originally appropriated for this fiscal year that began July 1.

But Barbour said Thursday in a letter to legislators, superintendents and school board members that he’s been assured by federal officials that Mississippi meets the requirements allowing states to access the funds.

“Although I would have voted against this legislation were I in Congress, I intend to apply for the approximately $98 million in funding for K-12 education,” Barbour wrote to lawmakers.

Aug. 22