Legislature cuts to MAEP causes Petal schools to be underfunded $8,000,000

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Petal School District Superintendent, John Buchanan held an Annual State of the School Address on Wednesday.

All Petal School District staff members and departments were recognized by Buchanan for their accomplishments.

Along with honoring new National Board Certified teachers, the state of school address also included guest speaker Nancy Loome.

As Executive Director of the Mississippi Parent's Campaign, Loome updated staff members on the legislatures underfunding of Mississippi Adequate Education Program and how it's affecting the Petal School District.

"In the last five years, Petal School District has been underfunded by over $8,000,000," said Loome. "You can just imagine what additional offerings would be available to the students in Petal if the MAEP had been fully funded."

According to Buchanan, the underfunding has caused teachers to not receive a raise in approximately eight years.

"While we've not been fully funded, we've been able to do some incredible things in the classroom, in the fine arts arena, and the athletics arena as well," said Buchanan. "I just want folks to get a broad sense of state-wide sense of exactly how much underfunding is taking place in our legislature."

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