Gov. to Sign Education Bills

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The Mississippi House and Senate approved education funding bills Friday -- two months before their budget deadline. The bills will pump an extra $236 million into all levels of education, from kindergarten through universities.

The plans also cover programs such as the Library Commission and Mississippi Educational Television. The votes on the education bills came at the end of the first month of a three-month legislative session.

Lawmakers usually approve budget bills near the end of the session. Musgrove had asked legislators to work quickly on education funding to show that education is a state priority.

University and community college leaders were especially concerned about budget cuts that had been recommended for the fiscal year starting July 1. The compromise would expand the $2.1 billion that lawmakers already planned to put into education.

Representative Bill Denny says in the 16 years he has been in the Legislature, he has heard every year that education is in crisis. He says he hopes "that the cash cow is now cured."