Governor Barbour

May 31, 2009

Key facts about education funding in Mississippi

As legislative conferees continue talking about the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, it’s important they and the public know the facts about education funding. For school year 2009-2010, our K-12 schools will receive nearly $200 million more than they have ever received in any fiscal year, a 7.8 percent increase over the previous highest year’s funding and a 10.6 percent increase over the funding public education actually received last year.

This total includes a bounty of extra federal stimulus funds, deployed directly to the State Department of Education specifically for education, and the amounts include the following: For the basic education programs, $152 million in the next school year; $70 million extra for Title I-X; $60 million extra for special education; and nearly $20 million for school improvement grants.

The $152 million supplements our K-12 education funding formula, MAEP, and is available for a wide variety of uses, including pay for teachers and staff, other operating expenses, etc.

As state revenues continue to decline, Governor Haley Barbour has made it a priority to wisely and carefully recommend spending state tax dollars in combination with federal stimulus dollars. In education, Governor Barbour’s plan maximizes these resources by funding MAEP base student cost, in accordance with stimulus guidelines, at 1.6 percent above FY 09 appropriated.

“Over the past few months the federal government has borrowed more money than can be repaid in two generations and some of it is coming to Mississippi, where education makes up almost two-thirds of our general fund expenses,” Governor Barbour said. “Surely we all can agree these dollars must be put to the most effective use as we meet current needs and brace for the fiscal challenges that lie ahead.

“My proposal for education, working in concert with my complete executive budget recommendation, adequately funds education and other state agencies in FY 2010 and saves money for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012, when these dollars will be needed most.”