Due to the recent debate and House passage of HB 957 (Mississippi Uniform Per Student Funding Formula Act of
2018), I thought it would be prudent to share the historical research and information compiled by my office about the many
changes to the MAEP. Included here is a list of current MAEP state code sections that have been amended, added, or
changed; a copy of the School District Rating and Accountability System changes over time; and an overview flow chart
of the actual MAEP formula.
I hope you find this information useful in future discussions. Because it accounts for more than 40 percent of total
expenditures from the state general fund, the Office of the State Auditor has continued to track MAEP and related K-12
public school funding and expenditure data for more than ten years. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact
my office at 601-576-2800. In summary,
The MAEP formula has changed many times over the last 20 years. Some were changes to the law and some were
regulatory changes by MDE—ALL of them affected the calculation.
First written in 1994; In 1997, SB 2649, was the first major overhaul including funding projections and
comparisons, Add-On costs, pupil-teacher ratios, vocational program allowances, transportation, gifted, local
support, counting transfer students, preliminary estimate calculations, distribution and payment of funds,
violations and penalties, education enhancement funds distribution, etc.
In 2005, there were more major revisions to the formula.
In 2006, the formula underwent a major change—instead of full recalculations every year, it is only recalculated
every fourth year and is adjusted in intervening years.
Again, in 2011, there were a number of changes made to the MAEP formula and its components.
In 2013, the Legislature finally mandated a definition of attendance, because the State Department of Education
failed to provide uniform guidance. This helped to make the formula more equitable to all school districts, but also
changed the formula calculation by using better data.
School District Accountability Ratings affect the MAEP. The attached chart shows how the accountability formula
has changed. This has had significant impacts on the MAEP formula because of the way MDE “sets the bar,” and
defines a successful school district.
Federal law and regulation changes have influenced the State MAEP formula. After 2012, the new federal
Community Eligibility Program (CEP) related to Free Lunch caused artificial inflation of “At-Risk” Program
funding formula portion of the MAEP. It gave 53 districts and 506 individual schools in Mississippi free lunch
status for the student population, regardless of individual eligibility, which, for those entities, padded their MAEP
allotment to the detriment of all other schools and districts in the state. The Base Student Cost (BSC) is multiplied
by the artificially inflated Free Lunch count from school districts to establish funding for “At-Risk” programs, with
no regard for true At-Risk needs