JACKSON, Miss. – On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor released its FY 2019 preliminary estimate calculation of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).
In a letter addressed to legislative leaders and Governor Phil Bryant, State Auditor Stacey Pickering outlined his concerns over the accuracy of Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) data and stated that numbers from MDE and OSA did not corroborate. An error in the administrative component of MDE calculations caused a $732,757 discrepancy, undercalculating the amount necessary to fund MAEP.
Pickering also cited the differences in needs of schools across Mississippi and recommended the Legislature mandate an independently conducted study of these needs in each school district to provide proper education funds for all Mississippi K-12 students. Additionally, Pickering recommended that line item key expenditures be reinstituted in education budgets to increase transparency and encourage accountability in educational spending.
The full letter can be viewed on the OSA website at http://www.osa.ms.gov/documents/performance/MAEP_FY18_Preliminary_Estimate.pdf.