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House revives its INSPIRE Act a day after Senate kills it

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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – You likely expect some level of political fighting during the legislative session. This year, there’s a showdown on how to fund your children’s public schools.

The House is making another move to prove its belief in scrapping the existing education funding formula.

“The strike-all amendment that I’m proposing today is to replace the current Senate Bill 2693 with our INSPIRE Act, this will give us one more opportunity to give the Senate a chance to look at this and and do what’s best and right for our for our school children,” said Rep. Rob Roberson, House Education chairman.

The House revived its INSPIRE Act Wednesday that was killed by the Senate Tuesday.

“Sometimes in the heat of battle in politics, things get sideways,” said Rep. Roberson.

“For them to call it up yesterday and move not to concur, that was some sort of, you know, show, that, hey, we’re not going to do this and we refuse to even talk about it,” noted Speaker Jason White.

Senators are saying they are willing to talk about a rewrite but not right now.

“It’s important that we pass on it this year, address it over the summer, come back next year with a plan that’s vetted by the Department of Education, outside groups, the education committee in the House and the Senate, and others,” said Senate Education chairman Sen. Dennis DeBar from the Senate floor Tuesday.

And that wasn’t a delay the House was willing to take.

“We’re talking about drawing a line in the sand,” said Speaker White. “Some folks might say, people are sticking their head in the sand and just refusing to acknowledge what’s going on with regards to the current dynamics that surround MAEP.”

Democratic leadership says they’re skeptical of the new formula.

“If it’s too good to be true, and it sounds too good, then it’s probably probably something we should not trust,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Derrick Simmons.

House Minority Leader Robert Johnson says Democrats want more transparency.

“We said, wow, that sounds great,’ Johnson explained. “Looks like a great plan. How do you get to those numbers? Nobody has yet been able to tell us that.”

Despite those concerns, the revived bill passed with more yea votes in the House Wednesday than in the original vote.

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