Local school officials cast wary eye on legislative budget recommendation

“I’m trying to maintain hope and optimism that our legislators, once they get into session, will make funding MAEP a top priority,” Coleman-Potter said, who added the amount needed to fully fund MAEP will not be known until after the first of the year when the formula is calculated.

State Rep. Hank Zuber of Ocean Springs said he believes the legislature will ultimately provide more funding for MAEP than what the budget committee recommendation suggests. The legislature goes into session Jan. 5.

“I doubt if that holds up,” Zuber said. “It’s a long process. That’s just a recommendation. We still have four to five months before the budget is passed. I would be surprised if you don’t see an increase (in MAEP funding).

“Now, whether it’s fully funded remains to be seen.”