Education funding formula rewrite sparking debate - - Jackson, MS

Education funding formula rewrite sparking debate

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

The way your child's public school is funded could be changing. A funding formula rewrite is still in play at the State Capitol. The House passed a 350 page bill that details the proposal to rewrite the school funding formula.

Now, some Senators are speaking up about concerns as it awaits action in the Senate.

Senator Hob Bryan is one of the authors of the current education funding formula and he says there hasn't been enough information given for lawmakers to make an educated decision about rewriting the K-12 funding formula.

"The prudent thing to do is to stop the madness," said Senator Hob Bryan. "Stop trying to pass something that nobody understands. Let's start all over again with an open process."

Senate education chairman Gray Tollison argues the EdBuild recommendation is available online for anyone to view.

READ MORE: EdBuild releases recommendations for school funding formula revamp

"This report has been available for a year," noted Tollison. "And if somebody wanted to sit down and talk to me about particular parts of it, I'm certainly available to do that."

Now, exactly how the money would shake out over the next few years with the new formula, depends on who's calculations you view and what measuring stick they use. Sen. Bryan's calculations take MAEP and increase it by one percent each year.

"Public schools would be $300 million worse off than they are under the existing formula," said Bryan.

Still, proponents like Tollison say schools are expected to get more.

"We have a plan that they are getting more than what they received in the past year," Tollison noted. "They're relying on numbers that they are making up and making estimates about. We have real numbers that we have in the legislation."

The new formula calls for $107 million increase in spending over the next seven years. Some democrats have questioned where that money will be generated.

The Senate still has two weeks to get the bill passed out of committee.

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