The next fiscal year will start in a little over a month. Appropriations of state funds reflect another lean year for education and other state services. Total appropriations levels are up slightly, but are still below previous levels. With year after year of budget cuts, increased need for services for the unemployed, and rising input costs, many of our state programs will continue to see significant cuts. MAEP will be underfunded again next year by $293 million and districts are still having to make painful cuts, including cutting teachers (see Natchez and Hattiesburg).
We will not see the kind of recovery for our economy that we need with the continuing underfunding of critical areas like education. Investments in our workforce, through K-12 and higher education, health, and quality of life are vital for our working families and our economy.