MS Supreme Court says MAEP not mandatory

The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled the Mississippi Adequate Education Program is not a binding mandate.

Posted: Oct 21, 2017 3:06 PM
Updated: Oct 21, 2017 3:06 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) -- The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled the Mississippi Adequate Education Program is not a binding mandate.

The ruling was issued in a lawsuit filed by 21 school districts claiming they were owed more money because lawmakers failed to fully fund education.

The lawsuit asked the state to pay the districts $235 million they claimed they were underfunded and a permanent injunction ordering the Mississippi Legislature to fully fund education.

On Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled the constitution only says the state will provide and fund public education in the state.

Justices say the wording does not state how much the funding should be.

They also say the MAEP statute mentions the Legislature shall fully fund education, but does not say the governor has to sign the appropriations into law.

Four justices also say the judiciary did not have the legal authority under law to award unappropriated money to the districts. 

They say it would be a violation of the separation of powers in the Mississippi Constitution.

The schools who filed the lawsuit include:

Clarksdale Municipal Schools

Clay County Schools

Greene County Schools

Greenville Schools

Hattiesburg Public Schools

Humphreys County Schools

Jackson Public Schools

Leake County Schools

Leland Schools

North Bolivar Consolidated Schools

Okolona Municipal Seperate Schools

Prentiss County Schools

Richton Schools

Simpson County Schools

Smith County Schools

Sunflower County Schools

Tate County Schools

Wayne County Schools

West Tallahatchie Schools 

West Boliver Consolidated Schools

Wilkins County Schools

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