Formula Calls for $312 Million More for Schools

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Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi's public schools say they need an additional $312 million from lawmakers next year to be fully funded, according to the formula that determines how much money education is supposed to get.

The state Board of Education Wednesday approved a 2016 budget request seeking $370 million more than the $2.49 billion lawmakers allotted in the budget that began July 1. That includes money for programs beyond the Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula.

Though the 2016 budget won't start for nearly a year, agencies are preparing requests ahead of September budget hearings.

The Board of Education is legally required to seek full funding of MAEP.

Lawmakers allotted $95 million more to schools this year, mostly because of pay raises. But the formula is $257 million short, bringing the gap over six years to $1.5 billion.