Barbour Signs Education Bills

The education package signed Tuesday by Gov. Haley Barbour gives K-12, community colleges, and universities nearly $3.5 billion for the 2008 fiscal year.

The legislation fully funds the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula.

Community college budgets will increase by 20 percent, while universities increase 14 percent.

"This coming fall, state funding for our K-12 schools will have gone up nearly $530 million since I've been governor," said Barbour. "That's the largest increase in any four-year period."

"The additional dollars will enable them to enhance their teaching staff, enhance the programs that they offer students and perhaps add additional programs," said Steve Williams of the State Superintendent's Office.

Teachers will also receive a three percent pay raise, bringing the average annual salary to $43,000.

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