Impact of Mississippi Budget Cuts

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour cut another 21 million dollars from the state's budget.

The shortfall is causing problems for various departments throughout the entire state. One of those departments is education. Because a large portion of the state's budget is already allotted to education, it will be one of the areas forced to take a hard financial hit. Charlotte Tabereaux is the Education Director at Meridian's MSU Riley Center. She says teachers should not be overly concerned about loosing their jobs.

"There are definite requirements on how many kids can be in a classroom. So you are not going to, unless the legislature were to change those laws and say you can have 40 kids in one room, there are a certain number of teachers a school is going to have to have. The limit right now, I think, is 30. If we up that to 35 or 40, yes you could have fewer teachers in the school. But we are required by law to teach the basics, so if anything I think you'll see a teacher shortage as we've continued to have."

With this requirement, the more students a school has, the more teachers the school needs. For this reason, Tabereaux believes teachers' jobs are safe. She says even if there are layoffs in one school district, another area may be hiring.

"Yes, there is always a demand. I truly believe that you may see some layoffs, but you may see some other school districts that will absorb those teachers right now. I really don't think you will see, even though, I think we will see some layoffs, I think other schools will absorb them who need good teachers," explains Tabereaux.

According to Tabereaux, the schools that may do the absorbing of teachers who have been laid off, won't necessarily be neighboring schools. The absorption may come from out-of-state.

"I think Alabama borders, Tennessee, Louisiana border folks will be able to higher some of our border people as well," says Tabereaux.

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