Lawmakers meet with EdBuild to discuss school funding - - Jackson, MS

Lawmakers meet with EdBuild to discuss school funding

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's school funding formula is controversial. The latest controversy has been an out of state non-profit brought in to examine the money flow.

This isn't the first time Mississippi's funding formula has come under scrutiny. But this go-around the evaluation will come from EdBuild, a New Jersey non-profit.

"A student based funding formula starts with the assumption that every student with certain needs needs the same amount of money in the classroom," explained EdBuild founder and CEO Rebecca Sibilia. "And then there’s a separate consideration as to who’s paying for that whether that's local funds or state funds,"

EdBuild's founder and CEO told lawmakers they think Mississippi needs to have a base cost per student and give a bump in money to students with various special needs, things like disabilities, gifted or English language learners.

"There are a number of ad-on programs that sit outside of the current funding formula that we believe should be a part of a student based funding formula focused specifically on student," said Sibilia.

Supporters of the newly hired group say there's no need to panic.

"There's a long time between now and a change or between a vote on the issue," said House education chairman Representative John Moore.

But others said it's all too rushed and a way to eventually move towards more vouchers and privatization of the education system

"My hope is that the people of Mississippi who do believe in public schools will realize what’s at stake here and they’ll wake up,” noted Senator Hob Bryan.

EdBuild will make recommendations on how to create a more level playing field when it comes to funding Mississippi students education. They expect that report to be completed by the end of the calendar year. Public hearings where parents and educators can weigh in will be scheduled before the legislative session.

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