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Mississippi House advances new public school funding formula

JACKSON (AP) — Lawmakers in the Mississippi House of Representatives are moving forward with a new funding formula for public schools.

House members voted 66-54 Wednesday, largely along party lines, to advance House Bill 957. The measure moves to the Senate for more debate.

House Education Committee Chairman Richard Bennett, a Long Beach Republican, tells representatives that a new formula will be more practical and transparent.

The new formula would replace the current Mississippi Adequate Education Program. The bill envisions increasing funding by $107 million from this year after a seven-year phase in. But the proposal at that point would spend $157 million less than the current formula legally mandates next year.

Democrats say Republicans want to kill the current formula to end political criticism for falling short of funding goals.