MCSD superintendent explains impact of Inspire Act

MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Almost every public school district in Mississippi, is in need of financial help to improve student learning. The new funding formula, also known as the Inspire Act is set out to do just that. Monroe County School District Chad O’Brian said this is just what students and teachers need.

“When you look at the Inspire Act, there are positives, but there are some areas of caution that those of us who are in public education are curious to see play out. Obviously, some of the positives are that no one is going to see a decrease in funding, that is huge because no district can afford that,” said O’Brian.

Public school districts are usually paid by attendance, the Inspire Act will now pay school districts based on enrollment. O’Brian said this new method will help ease the stress of public-school faculty. Especially during times of the year when attendance is low due to students being out sick

“The school’s argument was these kids are on our role, and they may not be here every day during those months, but we still have to provide lunches for them. The state listened to that concern, and they helped us out with this new formula,” said O’Brian.

Some students can be more expensive than others to educate. More money will be calculated for students who live in poverty, students in gifted programs, students with special needs, and students who are learning English as a second language.

Dennis Holloway has two children who attend Hamilton Attendance Center. He said the new funding formula would be very beneficial to his family.

“Any kind of funding that schools get, will always benefit our kids. The kids use Chromebooks a lot, and there is always money that the schools need to help buy books and for the teachers. Any extra funding could definitely help,” said Dennis Holloway, Hamilton native.

The new funding formula will replace the old formula, which was the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. MAEP was fully funded for only two years since it was enacted.

O’Brian said the Monroe County School District will see an increase of about $60,000 in total funding.

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