Pickering Says School Funding Data Unreliable

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Mississippi Auditor Stacey Pickering is calling on lawmakers to write new, stricter rules on computing how much state money goes to local schools.

The Republican told the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday that he can't approve the Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula, as required by law, because his office has found unreliable numbers on attendance, students receiving free lunch and other items.

The MAEP formula is based partly on average daily attendance.

But Pickering says different districts have different attendance policies, which means schools may get the same amount of money even when students at some schools attend for longer or shorter times than those at other schools.

Pickering says it's possible some districts are inflating numbers for attendance or free or reduced-price lunches to get more state money.

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