Democratic Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis, the House minority leader, pointed out Monday that not too long ago nearly every politician in the state supported the full funding of the school funding formula many are now trying to rewrite.
“You will recall that (former) Gov. Barbour, Gov. Bryant, Lt. Gov. Reeves and Speaker Gunn have all said at one time or another that MAEP (the Mississippi Adequate Education Program) should be fully funded,” Baria said during a Mississippi State University Stennis Institute of Government/capitol press corps luncheon. “It has only recently become outdated and too complicated.”…
…But Baria said Monday, no one is unhappy with the existing MAEP formula “other than those who want to send public money to private schools, and a group of misguided legislators.”
The fear, Baria said, is that EdBuild’s recommendations will lead to increased property taxes for many districts. Until more is known, Baria said, the process to rewrite MAEP should be stopped. The legislation is too important, Baria said, for six conferees to settle on the rewrite at the end of the session behind closed doors and “we have to vote on it on deadline day when we have 75 other bills to vote on.”