Teach Plus Mississippi applauds Mississippi Student Funding Formula

Teach Plus Mississippi applauds Mississippi Student Funding Formula

Law ensures all students are provided opportunities to succeed

Jackson, Mississippi, May 9, 2024—Teach Plus Mississippi today issued the following statement on HB 4130, the “Mississippi Student Funding Formula,” becoming law:

This new law replaces the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) formula with a weighted student formula, funneling $2.95 billion to K-12 education in the state. The new formula includes an objective calculation of the cost of educating an individual student with “weights” (additional funding percentages) for students who are  low-income, English learners, in special education, and in career-technical education programs.

Earlier this spring, teacher leaders wrote a policy memo: Teach Plus Mississippi: Recommendations for Weighted Student Funding Legislation.

“On behalf of our teacher leaders, I’d like to thank our state lawmakers for passing the Mississippi Student Funding Formula. Thanks to the hard work of legislators and education advocates, we finally have a formula that provides both adequate and equitable funding for our public school students. This new formula is simpler and more flexible for administrators, while also providing significant increases in funding for students who are low-income and in special education. And for the first time, there is state funding for English learners. This doesn’t end discussions about school funding in Mississippi, but they may be noticeably different going forward. For example, districts will need to make important decisions about how to invest funds in a way that will improve student outcomes. Local and state policymakers will also need to discuss what training is required for this new formula, how the formula should be reviewed and adjusted over time, and how school funding data will  be shared with the general public. I look forward to ensuring that teacher leaders are involved in each step of the implementation process,” said Sanford Johnson, Teach Plus Mississippi Executive Director.

“In the sprawling landscape of public education, the challenges faced by students who are low-income, English learners, and in special education are immense, exacerbated by the perpetual struggle for adequate funding. The lack of funding for public schools not only undermines the immediate educational experience of students, but also perpetuates systemic inequalities that hinder their future opportunities and potential for success. Addressing this issue is essential to ensure that every student, regardless of background or zip code, has access to the resources and support they need to thrive and achieve their aspirations,” said Kim Murphy, 2023-2024 Teach Plus Mississippi Policy Fellow who is a high school special education inclusion teacher at Gautier High School in Gautier.

“There needs to be more English as a Second Language-endorsed teachers in schools with English learners. Schools can only provide robust opportunities for students to thrive and meet their full potential with adequate funding. Diverse resources need to be more equitable to support students at school,” said Barquita Stanton, Teach Plus SEL Change Agent alumna and 2024 Teach Plus National Policy Advisory Board member. She is a 4th grade teacher at Johnson Elementary School in Jackson.

About Teach Plus

The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. In pursuing this mission, Teach Plus is guided by the Student Opportunity Mandate​: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org/ms