Senate passes bill to increase education funding

schoolJACKSON — Senators are supporting an additional $60 million for Mississippi’s education funding formula.

The Senate voted 26-24 yesterday to adopt an amendment to House Bill 1476 — the state K-12 budget — taking money from Medicaid and moving it to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Eight Republicans crossed party lines to vote with all but one Democrat for the measure.

The effort by Amory Democrat Hob Bryan is symbolic because negotiators will finalize budgets later. The state must pay all Medicaid costs under rules of the health program, no matter how much it budgets.

Bryan says Mississippi should obey a law requiring full funding of MAEP. In last six years, appropriations have fallen more than $1.25 billion short.

Next year’s budget was $265 million short of full funding before the amendment.

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