June 15, 2005

STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR
Concerning the Signing of House Bill 64 – K-12 Education

“Tonight I was proud to sign the K-12 appropriations bill for FY 06. During the worst budget crisis in state history, when virtually every other part of state government was required to spend less, we were able to increase K-12 education spending by 7.2%, or $143 million. Even in these tough financial times, I commend the Legislature for making education the top priority for state government. Sixty two percent of this budget goes to education funding.

This increase includes full funding of the promised 8% teacher pay raise (including health insurance and retirement) and full merit pay for all National Board Certified teachers, but regrettably does not include my recommendation to earmark funds for high-growth school districts.

While funding is well below the approximately 15% increase requested, K-12 funding for next year is more than adequate. We need to continue to focus on education fundamentals, not just education funding in our state.”

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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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