• 55°

New MAEP plan may hurt district, Barrett says

A new school funding formula may hurt the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict by decreasing the amount of money the district receivesunder the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP),Superintendent Lea Barrett said Tuesday.

“It would appear that Brookhaven, under the new formula, wouldreceive less than what we had under the old formula,” Barrett saidduring Tuesday’s school board meeting. “But if (state lawmakers)fully fund MAEP, we would get more.”

Legislators have fully funded MAEP only once, in 2003-04, sinceit was introduced in 1997 to provide funding to allow schooldistricts to provide basic educational services for children.

With the new formula, which is under consideration bylegislators, schools will be looked at on an individual basisrather than the district being considered as a whole, Barrett said.Barrett told board members she would keep them up to date on thefunding situation.

Dr. Vicki Bodenhamer, with Mississippi School of the Arts,updated the board on the school’s status. She said the year isgoing really well.

Bodenhamer said MSA’s recent open house for prospective studentsand their parents had a big turnout. The prospects especially likedbeing able to attend classes that day, she said.

They also attended performances, exhibits and the annual fallchoir concert.

“We had a very full day, with students from all over,” saidBodenhamer.

She noted that one of the most interesting points about thecurrent school year is the addition of eight students displaced byHurricane Katrina.

“It’s been a wonderful experience for the kids,” she said aboutthe unique chance to learn from others’ experiences.