Lost in the debate over how much the state of Mississippi should spend on schools this year is an equally important question: How much should the state be expected to spend on schools in future years?
The current school funding formula regularly refigures the amount called for to account for changing costs.
But Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and other Republicans have said any new formula shouldn’t be automatically recalculated. That could mean the level of funding falls behind inflation over time, even if it grows in current dollars.
Mississippi’s spending has fallen behind inflation since 2008, the last time lawmakers fully-funded the current formula. Supporters of the current formula say that even though lawmakers are ignoring a law requiring full funding, a recalculation mandate remains key.