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Mississippi lawmakers debate education funding formula

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Education has been a hotly debated topic during the 2024 Legislative Session with the prospect of a new funding formula for public education in Mississippi. The question remains on whether lawmakers can agree on one.

The House passed their MAEP alternative, the INSPIRE Act, early in the session. The Senate has made it clear that they will not rush into approving the alternative formula.

The Senate’s education plan would be a modified MAEP formula that’s estimated to bring about $200 million for public education. The INSPIRE Act is estimated to bring in roughly $250 million more into public education.

Even though the Senate has not shown enthusiasm to the INSPIRE Act, House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Rob Roberson (R-District 43) hopes they give the plan some attention.

“I really hope that they give it a chance and have an opportunity to look at it. I think the bulk of our senators just haven’t had the time to look at it. I pray that they’re able to get there this in the next week or so, so we can move forward with it. When you have a formula like MAEP that has been honestly, it’s been a political football for years, it’s never had the ability to do exactly what I frankly think we need to be doing with schools, which is making certain that the poorest of the poor are funded as best we can. MAEP will never do that,” Roberson stated.

He said the bill will more than likely end up in conference.

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