Mississippi News

Mississippi school administrative spending continues to climb

Mississippi continues to prioritize spending on administration over spending inside the classroom according to a new report released Monday, March 11 by State Auditor Shad White.

“As the son of a 35-year public school teacher and the grandson of two public school teachers, I know it’s important to focus money on teachers’ salaries and where it matters most—the classroom,” said White. “Mississippi must do better. If we do, our students will thrive. I know it.”

The report shows that between 2006 and 2021, the number of students (average daily attendance) in Mississippi K-12 schools dropped by approximately 60,000. During that same time, administrative spending increased, even when adjusted for inflation. Administrative spending in Mississippi grew by 6.51 percent while inside-the-classroom spending dropped by 7.76 percent.

Mississippi also continues to spend a greater portion of its education budget on administration than any other state in the South, except for the District of Columbia.

“Every parent knows that money spent on their child’s teacher and in their child’s classroom is what counts,” said White.

If Mississippi spent as high of a percentage of its education budget inside the classroom as the national average, it would have sent $144 million more to the classroom. That $144 million could pay for approximately 90,000 new MacBooks, 17 million reams of paper, or a salary boost of $4,500 for each teacher annually.

Finally, the report makes recommendations to Mississippi lawmakers, who are currently re-writing the school funding formula, to curb administrative spending.

The full report can be viewed online at the Auditor’s website.

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