Education issues take center stage early at the State Capitol - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Education issues take center stage early at the State Capitol

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It doesn't take long for the lobbying on various issues to get started each legislative session and there are two big issues at play for public education.

They are the potential change to the school funding law and a possible expansion of school vouchers.

RELATED: Mississippi legislature convenes for 2018 session

There's a renewed push to adopt ideas first brought up in last year's session. Leadership hired New Jersey-based EdBuild to offer recommendations on a new formula.

"It's just a different way to distribute money to our school districts which is a combination of state funds and local funds," said Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison.

But The Parents' Campaign says lawmakers are telling them that the House is considering an elimination of the funding formula from the law. They say that would erase the Legislature's obligation to provide adequate school funding.

"Even in the years where we don't hit the mark, at least we know what we're shooting for and we have some measure that allows lawmakers to determine how well they're doing and how close they are to providing appropriately for our children," said Nancy Loome, Parents' Campaign Executive Director.

Still, Senator Gray Tollison maintains that they are instead trading out the old funding vehicle for a newer model.

"Take the existing money we're putting into education with MAEP and this $500 million," said Tollison. "Put it into a new formula. Start there. The conversation about do you increase funding is a separate conversation."

Vouchers are the other issue kicking up dust early.

"It's not appropriate to use public funds that are intended for public education to subsidize tuition at private schools," noted Loome.

"The end goal is to provide an opportunity good education for every student that lives in this state," explained Tollison. "And this is what we're trying to do as a legislature. And those needs are not being met."

To read about The Parents' Campaign funding formula concerns, click HERE. And click HERE to read the full EdBuild recommendation.

Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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