Nonprofit Mississippi News Weeks before the start of another legislative session the House’s top Republican said that lawmakers would not attempt to rewrite the public school funding formula. When Speaker Philip Gunn was asked if the House would try to rewrite the public school funding formula, he replied, “I don’t see that being an option this year.” The Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) has been a top goal for Republican leadership in the past two sessions. However, both failed attempts. Critics of MAEP claim that the formula isn’t equitable and doesn’t provide enough money directly to students. The formula’s supporters argue that it could work if fully funded, something that has not happened since 1997 when the law was first created. The legislature engaged EdBuild, a New Jersey-based consultant to review the formula and recommend changes. The group made a number of recommendations to amend the MAEP in January 2017. One of them was that the state need to rethink its commitment of providing 73 percent funding for public education. The contentious decision was made by lawmakers whether to remove the “27% rule”, a clause in the current formula which allows property-rich districts in the state to retain $120 million in state funds that they would otherwise have had to raise locally. In 2017, both the Senate and the House created placeholder bills, but they were not specific. The Mississippi Uniform Per Student Funding Formula Act of 2018 was unveiled by lawmakers this year. It is a weighted formula with different funding levels for different student groups and a base amount for each student. After passing the House, the bill was defeated in the Senate. “We passed it on the other end of this building. Gunn stated Monday that the other end didn’t. Gunn stated that the Senate has not prioritized school funding this year. Lt. Gov. Lt. Gov.