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Senators tweak rewrite of Mississippi school funding formula

State senators are moving a rewrite of Mississippi’s school funding formula a step closer to passage.

However, changes made to House Bill 957 in the Senate Education Committee Tuesday mean any plan must return to the House for approval, or a conference will be needed to reconcile differences between chambers.

The new formula would replace today’s Mississippi Adequate Education Program. The bill envisions increasing funding by $107 million over seven years. But even then, it would spend $157 million less than the current formula legally mandates next year.

Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican, says lawmakers have lost confidence in the current formula, saying the new plan will be simpler and more predictable.

Opponents say Republican proposals leave schools worse off and that the public hasn’t been sufficiently consulted.

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