Education funding at heart of budget battle

A battle is expected to begin Monday over how to best spend state revenues the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office estimates are running $88 million over 2015 projections, with another $112 million accumulated from the state’s 2-percent set aside fund, House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden said.

Snowden (R-Meridian) said the majority of the increased revenue will go towards education. That is welcome news for public school superintendents like Lauderdale County Superintendent Randy Hodges, Meridian Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Alvin Taylor and Meridian Community College President Dr. Scott Elliott.

But critics like Patsy Brumfield’s group, Better Schools, Better Jobs, which wants K-12 public education fully funded under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, are skeptical.

“We start the appropriations process (Monday), Snowden said. “We will have a substantial increase in education funds. All areas, K-12, community colleges and IHL (institutions of higher learning), will get increases.”

Meridian Star