Last week, Gov. Haley Barbour cut about $77.6 million, or 3.5 percent, out of the budget for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, which provides the basics of operating local school districts.
During the past two years, Barbour has become a proponent of fully funding the program after opposing it during his early years in office. But because of a slowdown in state tax collections, the Republican governor said he was mandated by law to make the cuts this year.
Thus far there has not been much of a hue and cry about the cuts the governor is making other than by Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory. Bryan has been a consistent, no-holds barred proponent of fully funding education.
He does not believe the current, dire economic situation should prevent full funding of education.
The governor is correct when he says state law mandates cuts when revenue falls a certain percentage under the official projection. The governor also is correct in stating that the law prevents him from cutting any agency more than 5 percent until he cuts all agencies 5 percent.