Lawmakers Question School Funding Formula

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The gap between the state's school funding formula and money actually being appropriated could widen past $300 million next year, raising new questions about the formula's future.

Interim state Superintendent Lynn House told legislative budget committee members Tuesday that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program will need $300.6 million more in the 2014 budget year than it received this year to reach full funding. The formula was $260 million short this year.

The state Department of Education requested a total of $2.4 billion, most of which flow to the state's 151 school districts.

Republican Sen. Terry Brown of Columbus suggested it was time to scrap the formula, which was created to guarantee that Mississippi's school districts get enough money. The Legislature has only fully funded the formula twice.