The Clarion-Ledger, 2/2/9

The Madison, Hinds and Rankin county school districts have lost nearly $5 million among them as a result of state-mandated budget cuts this fiscal year.

Gov. Haley Barbour recently called for cuts to the state budget because of a slowing economy. That meant cuts to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, the formula used to fund public education.

“It’s definitely worse when the cuts come in the middle of the year,” said Beverly Brahan, associate executive director of the Mississippi Association of Educators.

MAEP was cut 3.49 percent, a reduction that could leave about eight of the state’s 152 districts out of money when the fiscal year ends June 30. Madison, Rankin and Hinds will be OK, but they have had to dip into their reserves to make ends meet.