Mississippi faces steep education cuts

K-12 education in Mississippi is under fire as the state faces budget cuts.

According to Clarionledger.com, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant plans to cut the state’s budget by 1.5 percent.

The cuts will result in a loss of $4 million for K-12. The silver lining is that the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, a program that determines the minimum needed for students to thrive based on the demographics of their school, is exempt from the cuts.

To pare it down further, the Schools for the Blind and Deaf stand to lose a total of $167,362 and Vocation and technical education $1,216,965.

That’s not a short loss.

Because it’s still early in the process, it is unclear if layoffs will be a part of the process. Last year when faced with budget issues, the state cut 35 positions.

Education Superintendent Carey Wright is trying to ensure that the reforms that have been put into place, such as literacy programs and the expansion of early childhood options, remain and aren’t slashed.

And Mississippi isn’t exactly climbing the walls of success. The state consistently ranks at the bottom (or dead last) in academic success and outlook for its K-12 students. When it comes to things like AP exams, just “5 percent of Mississippi students scored a 3 or higher on the exams compared to 21.6 nationally.”

It is still a slight wonder why states choose to cut money from education instead of finding relief in other areas. Mississippi in particular has no room for alleviation when it comes to education. Instead of taking money away from an educational system that desperately needs it, Mississippi should be finding ways to increase funding for K-12 schools, and publicly funded higher education. The cycle of poverty in the state won’t ever be broken if money continues to be pulled from where it is desperately needed: education.

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