JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s public universities and community colleges are seeking more money even as lawmakers warn that the passage of a voter initiative to increase funding for K-12 schools will mean budget cuts.
The plans of the colleges and universities were often overshadowed in state budget hearings Tuesday by the opposition of Republican lawmakers to Initiative 42, which would create court oversight over Mississippi’s K-12 spending adequacy.
The showdown, brewing since House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson told agencies to prepare for 7.8 percent budget cuts, makes even clearer that university and community college leaders fear the initiative could harm their own budgets.
Higher Education Commissioner Glenn Boyce says that while he’s not taking a political stance, he says universities are educating their employees, students and alumni about possible negatives.