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Hearings scheduled on Mississippi school funding initiatives

education

JACKSON — Mississippians will get to express their opinions about this year’s proposed school funding initiatives during a series of public hearings in late summer. The hearings, announced Tuesday by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, will run from Aug. 11 through Sept. 8. The initiatives will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. Citizen-led Initiative 42 would require lawmakers to fund ...

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Miss. plans $1.47 million in reading grants for 34 schools

JACKSON — With thousands of Mississippi third-graders at risk of flunking this year because they can’t read at a basic level, State Board of Education members are likely to vote Friday to award $1.47 million in grants to help 34 public schools meet the reading requirements. The Legislature mandated that all third graders must read at a basic level by ...

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Both sides in school funding suit seek ruling

JACKSON — Both sides in a lawsuit over state funding for local school districts in Mississippi are asking a judge to rule in their favor without having a full trial in the case. Twenty-one school districts represented by former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove are seeking summary judgment, while Attorney General Jim Hood earlier asked that the case be dismissed. Musgrove filed ...

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State certifies school referendum for 2015 ballot

JACKSON — Voters in November 2015 will decide a referendum to write a funding guarantee for “an adequate and efficient system of free public schools” into Mississippi’s constitution. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Friday that of 121,691 signatures supporters submitted in October, 116,570 are of valid, registered voters. That’s 9,000 more than the 107,216 required statewide What’s called initiative ...

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Pickering lists concerns over Mississippi Adequate Education Program formula

JACKSON — State Auditor Stacey Pickering has notified the Legislature of his concerns with the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) formula. The report provides detailed information to lawmakers on the MAEP formula in advance of the upcoming 2015 legislative session. “Each year the Office of the State Auditor provides an overview of MAEP funds, how arbitrary changes are continually made ...

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Advocates of low-income residents decry failure to expand Medicaid

JACKSON — Groups supporting low-income Mississippi residents said yesterday that elected officials are ignoring 300,000 people and refusing billions of federal dollars by choosing not to expand Medicaid in one of the poorest states in the nation. If the state were to extend Medicaid, as allowed under the health overhaul that President Barack Obama signed into law, many low-wage workers ...

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Hood asks justices to toss Musgrove-led MAEP lawsuit

JACKSON — Attorney General Jim Hood is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 21 school districts that argues Mississippi owes them $230 million in education aid and demands an end to future shortfalls. In papers filed yesterday in Hinds County Chancery Court, Hood’s office wrote that even though a 2006 law says Mississippi’s school aid formula must be fully ...

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Co-Lin gets $2M-plus to support oil industry at port

WESSON — Copiah-Lincoln Community College will use $2 million over the next three years to help train diesel mechanics to support southwest Mississippi’s growing oil industry and operations at the port of Natchez. The U.S. Labor Department is giving $10 million total to four community colleges to improve training of automotive technicians. Other colleges getting the money include Lawson State ...

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State's Medicaid enrollment growing, spurred by Affordable Care Act

JACKSON — Mississippi’s Medicaid enrollment has grown since January, even as top elected officials continue to oppose expanding the program. Medicaid director David Dzielak told legislative budget writers Friday that the biggest reason for the enrollment increase is a new type of income calculation. He said that under the federal health overhaul law, the Affordable Care Act, administrators are now ...

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Department of Public Safety asks for $46M increase in funding

JACKSON — The Mississippi Department of Public Safety is requesting a $46 million budget boost in the coming year. That would be a 26 percent increase, from $176 million to nearly $223 million. It would pay for a variety of items, such as up-to-date Crime Lab equipment, and employees such as new state troopers and a new worker to receive ...

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