Stimulus uncertainty could impact teacher shortage

Mississippi’s teacher shortage could worsen if educators leave the state amid uncertainty over their schools’ share of the federal stimulus package and state funding allocations.

It is unclear how much Mississippi school districts will receive from the federal stimulus package President Barack Obama signed earlier this year. It is also unclear when schools will receive their cuts.

The stimulus money is “going to help,” state Superintendent of Education Hank Bounds said Wednesday, but the money may not be enough to retain school funding levels over time.

Speaking to district superintendents and other educators, Bounds stressed school districts need to prepare for tight budgets as it will likely take Mississippi years to recover from the current recession.

Legislators recessed Wednesday and will reconvene in May or June to work out a budget, among other things. But school districts usually approve budgets for the upcoming fiscal year around the end of May.

Clarion-Ledger 4/2/9