Slow and steady wins the race

Published 8:50 pm Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bills that would rewrite Mississippi’s school funding formula died Thursday, and that’s not a bad thing.

The Mississippi Adequate Education Program was slated for an overhaul, and an education consultant company had released its recommendations for how to best fund Mississippi’s schools.

But legislators didn’t act on a bill in either the House or Senate, which means there will be no education funding rewrite this session, unless Gov. Phil Bryant calls them back for a special session.

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While we agree there’s room for improvement when it comes to the state’s funding of public schools, there’s no reason to rush legislation.

It appears both chambers simply couldn’t agree on a funding proposal, but House Speaker Philip Gunn said work on an education formula will continue.

“I said from the beginning: We’re going to do it right and not in a hurry, so we continue to work,” he said.

The proposal from EdBuild, the consultant company, called for an increase in overall education spending but could mean funding cuts or higher taxes for some school districts.

Brookhaven and Lincoln County school districts would both see more funding under EdBuild’s proposal.

But the idea of cutting funding or raising taxes on some property-rich districts caused some concerns for lawmakers. So progress on a re-write slowed and eventually stalled.

We encourage lawmakers to keep working on the issue, this isn’t something that should be rushed.

Any rewrite of MAEP will affect thousands of Mississippi students for years to come. In this case, slow and deliberate is better than quick and easy.