Call Made to 'Fully Fund' Education Budget

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Jackson, Miss.

Education officials are making their legally-mandated push to support Mississippi's school funding formula, but it's not clear they'll be any more successful in 2015 than in other recent years.

State Department of Education officials made their pitch to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee Wednesday.

Lawmakers would have to add $264.5 million to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program in the budget year beginning July 1 to provide what the formula calls an adequate amount of aid to local school districts. That gap is actually down, according to preliminary estimates, from $293 million in the current budget.

The total amount demanded by the formula has declined for the first time since it was created, because district budgets were cut, leading them to spend less money during the recession, education officials say.