Sunday, March 12, 2023

Bill Crawford: Senate Unanimously Supports Increased School Funding

The Mississippi Senate wants to “fully fund” the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), well, sort of.

Recall that full funding of the adequate education program has been a contentious issue since it first passed in 1997. At that time state leaders feared potential lawsuits for inequitable funding among schools. MAEP was designed to address those inequities. Adopted at the same time as the Mississippi Accountability System, MAEP was also supposed to provide teachers and schools the financial means to bring student performance up to the new accountability standards. However, the formula driven program has only been fully funded twice, in 2003 and 2008. (Note: the Legislature appropriated full funding for 2009 and 2010 but mid-year budget cuts reduced actual funds received.)

The bill passed by the Senate to fund MAEP made two adjustments to the formula that would reduce the overall state outlay. It is this reduced total that would be “fully funded.”

One of the two adjustments would increase some local contributions by a small amount. Required minimum local contributions would rise from 27% to 29.5%. The other change would alter the periodic adjustment for inflation to a factor based on 20-year rolling averages. The two changes would reduce the extra cost for full funding from $261 million to $181 million.

The extra $181 million would be just a 7% increase to the overall MAEP budget.

The Senate’s unanimous action was not unanimously popular. Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statement saying, “Instead of funneling more money to the District offices – where our kids won’t see it – why not another teacher pay raise? Put it in the classroom!”

Well, schools do have other legitimate needs, as the former Lt. Governor well knows. MAEP funds textbooks and other instructional materials – an area of great need for many schools; basic operational costs such as utilities and facilities maintenance – both critical to good learning environments; transportation – school bus fuel and maintenance costs have surged; special education, vocational education, gifted education, alternative education – all of which directly impact children; district employee salaries; and retirement and insurance for all employees.

Another criticism came from the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. After the Senate's overwhelming vote to approve MAEP funding, Center director Douglas Carswell threw a hissy fit calling the action “political posturing” and a rush job that failed to consider the radical changes the policy center promotes.


Who is doing the posturing here? Both Reeves and the policy center have touted recent improvements in student performance. Better school funding when money is plentiful would seem to be in order to continue such improvement. The House will now decide if that is to happen.

I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” – Jeremiah 17:10.



Mike T said...

Agree! Successful leadership requires at least three major factors; knowledge, wisdom, and courage. Knowledge comes from studying and understanding the issue. Wisdom comes from knowledge and experience. But the most important, courage, stands alone and separates true leadership from wannabes. Does legislative leadership have the courage to fully fund MAEP now that $$ are available or will we again hear a litany of excuses? This time, the decision is all about courage!

The Shotgun Sings the Song said...

One of the two adjustments would increase some local contributions by a small amount. Required minimum local contributions would rise from 27% to 29.5%.

'Local contributions' Bill? You mean local property taxes? Can't you say it Bill?

And to think all these years Crawford has been issuing warnings that to not fully fund MAEP would result in local property tax increases.

Now ol' Bill is a-okay okey dokey with property taxes going up +9.26%, wink, wink, 'a small amount', because MAEP will get 'fully funded'.

If Reeves had been the one to propose this funding formula change to allow the grand proclamation that MAEP has been 'fully funded', Crawford would instead be moaning, wailing and gnashing his Donkey teeth that the formula change was nothing but feel-good financial gimmickry and a slap in the face of education in Mississippi.

Bill, I know you are reading this, YOU ARE A FRAUD.

Anonymous said...

Schools are already fully funded. All they need now are students that want to show up and learn.

This is such a waste of money. Don’t give schools another dime until the students and their family are prepared to actually do some work.

Stop flushing cash down the drain with lazy students. Enact school choice.

Anonymous said...

Ain't education funding the source of Bill's fortune?

Anonymous said...

Why - oh why - do Crawford, Delbert, and the Mississippi Democrat party agree on everything?

Anonymous said...

Consolidate school districts. Lots of them. Eliminate Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Assistant Assistant Superintendents etc. Not every bump in the road needs its own separate school district paying Supers and Assistant/Vice Supers $100k+ a year to oversee a few hundred students. Replace do nothing admins making $100k+ with bus drivers making $15k part time to drive them to consolidated schools.

Anonymous said...

They changed how they calculate the cost to lower it and claim credit for full funding? Got it.

Anonymous said...

Crawford in 2018 would be disgusted with Crawford of 2023….

Anonymous said...

12:25 - The legislature once had the wisdom, knowledge and (most importantly) the courage to revamp the PERS system to allow 25 year full retirements and build in the COLA that compounded annually.

Is that perhaps your notion of 'courage'? Or is mine not a good example of 'legislative courage'.

Courage, in most cases is taking a chance and rolling the dice.

Anonymous said...

To be successful and effective, the schools don't need more money; they need students from two-parent homes who give a rat's ass about their kids. That money goes to perks for the administrators.

I feel so blessed to be exempt from Mississippi income tax along with a healthy homestead exemption.

Anonymous said...

Not sure Delbert and the Mississippi Democrat party agree on everything - the party wanted to help the rural hospitals (which most of their constituents use), however Delbert has done absolutely nothing meaningful to address this issue that is only going to get worse. Even some of his long term supporters think he has gone from doing what is best to just being a politician that wants to be re-elected.

Anonymous said...

March 12, 2023 at 2:32 PM, ding, ding, ding, yes we have a winner. Ole Bill was/is a well-fed hog at the public trough.

I'm not a Tate Reeve's fanboy, but he was correct in wanting the money in the classrooms where the actual work is done.

I am in full agreement with others on this board that have posted concerning the streamlining of the Mississippi education system. Furthermore, I developed this position many years ago after having to go through too many assistants, to an assistant, if you understand what I mean, while addressing a problem with one of my children.

Anonymous said...

Carswell came to Mississippi specifically to throw hissy fits and foment fear. He is a debit, not a credit. He exists to raise money, then spend the money to keep his hissy fits coming on an exceptionally high salary. What a drain on society.

Anonymous said...

Money to the Studentd, not the System.

Choice and Vouchers using current funding total divided by number of students, apply each student amount to his parents' choice of school.

Let the piss poor schools suffer while excellent schools prosper.

Anonymous said...

We must fully fund the Government Daycare & Indoctrination System.

Anonymous said...

5:25 nails it on Carswell. He’s making a lot of money in Mississippi shucking and jiving as a British Tucker Carlson. Anyone else wondering why he had to come and find a Mississippi in order to make a living?

Anonymous said...

While I agree there are entirely too many school districts, it's nonsense to suggest eliminating as many as half of them would produce a drop in the money bucket.

Compare the problems it would cause to the ultimate unsuccessful surgery it create for cause good schools that are forced to welcome scholars from piss poor schools.

Just as one of many negative outcomes, please allow me to mention the possible combining of Canton Separate with Madison County District.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago the State Personnel Board came up with a system whereby all job titles were attached to step raises which extended out 10 or 15 steps.

Those steps were supposed to represent annual (meager) increases over time. I guess those still exist.

The problem (for employees) was/is that the table was never funded in the first place, as there was never money for it. The result was employees going four or more years with zero increase. And don't waste your time telling me private sector employees never got annual reviews and increases. That would be a lie.

So, while AEP funding has been discussed to exhaustion for 30+ years, the state system of increments and funding has never even been a consideration.

Anonymous said...

Ah- more $$$$. That's always the solution.

Anonymous said...

More school districts = more administrator$ who couldn't get a real job. Welfare with honor.

Anonymous said...

5:25 nails it on Carswell. He’s making a lot of money in Mississippi ...

Why do you care? It isn't public money.

Anonymous said...

Crawford,Delbert and the Dems agree whenever MS's GOP is being embarrassingly self-destructive,ignorant,immoral or crazy.
Is your idiocy working for Mississippi?
Our WHITE population declined the past 23 years at a greater rate. If our Black population were not having children, it'd be worse.
The white folks somehow believed that leaving towns and cities would somehow save them from being " outnumbered" and any "revenge" that might entail IF they could keep the black folk educationally and economically deprived. Instead, we are now governed by the least talented of both races. And, when our best educated and brightest want to come home or serve in government, the rednecks run 'em off out of fear their stupidity will become obvious. God forbid from EVER benefitting from the success of others. If we didn't think of it or see what was need, we look bad and can't admit it...we go defense with denial.
Y'all keep doing what's been failing, ya' hear?
I just hate see you " kings" naked, though. It's not a pretty sight even when you try using your guns to "cover" your inadequacy!

Anonymous said...

11:19 - I trust that made since to YOU since it did no nobody else.

Anonymous said...


Like I said, he’s a debit, not a credit. He’s a huckster and he’s making the state a worse place. He saw a red state that fit his business model and flew in to make himself rich.

Anonymous said...

The post at 11:19 is a study, and I do mean a study.

Anonymous said...

@2:52. Indeed. A study in classic gibberish.

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