Superintendents Discuss Needs with Lawmakers

Funding needs of Mississippi school districts took center stage in Meridian at a superintendents legislative meeting Monday.

The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents acknowledges that declining revenues are a reality and beyond the state's control.

But they say it's still important for lawmakers to know what districts need most, with the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) leading the way.

"It would be great to get some help in the area of facilities and transportation, our teachers get a pay increase," said Lauderdale County superintendent Randy Hodges. "You know, it's just a number of things that we wanted to discuss as we see as priorities."

"We've got to deal with the projections that we had," said Sen. Videt Carmichael, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. "We're not meeting those projections, so consequently, we can't put that amount of money into education or other priorities that we have as much as we would like to. So if you can't do what you want to do, let's do as much as you can to make it better."

The superintendents association conducts twelve of these meetings statewide every year. Over 91 percent of Mississippi children attend public schools.

MASS Legislative Priorities for 2010:
Full funding of MAEP
Establish different exit points for high school seniors
Revision of mandatory publications of tax increase
Legislative relief to reduce operational costs
55 mill cap
Charter schools
Make kindergarten mandatory for all
Increase educational requirements to qualify for local board member
No new programs mandated by legislature during the current economic crisis
Teachers' salaries
Building funds
Instructional supplies
At-risk funding
Per student calculation in MAEP formula
Funding of facilities and staffing for a statewide Pre-K program


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