CONTACT: Office of the Governor
Pete Smith (601) 359-3150 or (601) 720-8733
Kathryn Stewart (601) 359-3150

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 15, 2004

GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR SAYS $44M IN ADDITIONAL REVENUE SHOULD GO TO K-12


Jackson, Miss.– After today’s Legislative Budget Committee meeting resulted in the addition of $43.8M to the state’s FY05 budget estimate, Governor Haley Barbour urged lawmakers to commit all of the additional revenue to funding K-12 education.

“I am very pleased that we now have additional funds that can be used to fund our K-12 shortfall,” said Governor Barbour. “Thanks to a strong economy, we will be able to boost funding for education. This is not ‘funny money.’ This is a projection set by our state experts, and not by politicians.”

This estimate is for the fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2004.

“I can’t think of any legislator, or anyone for that matter, who is against funding education. The public needs to understand, however, that the worst thing we can do for education is give them a bad check now and have to make cuts later, during the school year,” said Governor Barbour. “I refuse to promise our schools money that we don’t have.”

While working to find additional education sources during this year’s budget crisis, Governor Barbour joined Lieutenant Governor Tuck, Senators and Representatives yesterday in calling for an extension to the deadline for teacher contracts to May 15 instead of the existing April 15, 2004, deadline. This in an effort to avoid giving “pink slips” to teachers whose contracts are up for renewal.

“Teachers should not be used as political pawns, and they should not be the first place to look to for cost-savings,” said Governor Haley Barbour. “Instead of scaring our teachers with ‘pink’, Mississippi should be focused on getting out of the ‘red’,” he added.

 


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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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