Mississippi Education Spending Soars

August 7, 2017

 

 

Education funding in Mississippi has always been a contentious issue, with advocates claiming state taxpayers aren’t spending enough on an ever-increasing  part of the budget.

 

According to data from the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office, recent cuts to the state’s general fund budget have only arrested an upward spending trend on both higher education and K-12 since fiscal year 2000.


Here are four graphs that illustrate trends with the state’s spending on education:

 

1. ALL GENERAL FUND SPENDING

 

 

UPWARD: Education spending in Mississippi for both higher and K-12 education has been on a steady uptick since 2000. Graph by Steve Wilson

 

Since 2000, the state has spent more and more out of its general fund budget (lawmakers also appropriate special funds that are earmarked for a particular purpose and some federal grant programs) for both higher and K-12 education. In 2000, lawmakers appropriated $1.514 billion for all education programs. By 2017, that figure increased 102.8 percent to $3.071 billion, a slight cut from last year’s $3.095 billion.

 

 

2. INSTITUTES OF HIGHER LEARNING GENERAL FUND SPENDING

 

 

 

ASCENDANT: After 2006, the trend for total general funds spent on higher education has been increasing. Graph by Steve Wilson

 

Keeping with the trend, appropropriations since 2000 for the Institutes of Higher Learning (both community colleges and universities) has increased 26 percent, growing from $634 million in 2000 to $800 billion in 2017.

 

 

3. UNIVERSITY GENERAL FUND SPENDING

 

 

ASCENDANT: After 2006, the trend for total general funds spent on higher education has been increasing. Graph by Steve Wilson

 

General fund spending for the state’s four-year universities has increased as well. In 2000, taxpayers spent $492 million on universities. By 2017, that number increased 18 percent to $582 million, a decrease from 2016 when the state spent $603 million.

 

 

4. COMMUNITY COLLEGE SPENDING

 

 

 

NOT JUNIOR: The Legislature has increased spending for the state’s community colleges since 2000. Graph by Steve Wilson

 

General fund spending on the state’s community college system has skyrocketed 54 percent since 2000. In 2000, lawmakers appropriated $141 million from the general fund for two-year colleges. By 2017, that figure increased to $218 million.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2017 MississippiMatters

MississippiMatters is a news blog of cooperative writers, videographers and podcasters published by  The Well Writers Guild, a 501c3 devoted to mentoring Mississippi writers and to addressing uncovered or under-covered topics.  MississippiMatters focuses on offering creative "takes" on our state's culture, ideas, events and more.