Hinds County Chancellor William Singletary chopped down former Governor Ronnie Musgrove's efforts to use the courts to force Mississippi to cough up another $240 million for the MAEP formula with machete-like logic.
Mr. Musgrove filed suit in August 2014 as the attorney for Okolona Municipal Separate School District, Clay County School District, Hattiesburg Public School District, Wayne County School District, Prentiss County School District, XYZ School Districts 1-134, Smith County School District, Simpson County School District, Greenville Public School District, Clarksdale Municipal School District, West Tallahatchie School District, Wilkinson County School District, Tate County School District, Leake County School District, and Richton School District.
The Chancellor stated that the legislature had not "fully funded" the MAEP in the last five years. The school districts argued that the law mandated the Legislature had to provide 100% of the funding for MAEP. However, the court ruled that the argument ignored another part of the law (Section 37-151-7(1)(f)) that provided "alternative procedures" to fully funding MAEP. The court stated "the legislature intentionally included specific alternative procedures to full funding; this alternative procedure demonstrates the Legislature's realization that full funding may not occur every year."
The court granted the defense's motion for judgement. Mr. Musgrove said he will appeal the decision.