Proposed MAEP Changes Could Mean Less Money For Schools

But there’s a push this legislative session to change the funding formula. Instead of calculating “base student cost” using “C” districts, officials would like to use A, B, or A and B districts as the standard.

Republican Representative Charles Busby of Pascagoula is among the lawmakers pushing for the change.

“I think we want to emulate our best leaders,” Busby says. “I don’t think we want to emulate the run-of-the-mill folks. We have our best business managers in our A and B districts, our best money managers. They’re doing the best job, typically, with fewer dollars. So why would we not want to try to emulate what they’re doing.”

Yet, if these changes are implemented, according to data provided by the Mississippi Department of Education — that could mean less money for the state’s public schools. For example, if the state used the “B district” standard for school funding in fiscal year 2015, instead of “C” districts, it would mean full MAEP funding would have been more than $90 million less that year. If the state used the A and B requirement then MAEP would have been $80 million less.