Skip to content
Governor Reeves endorses House’s...

Governor Reeves endorses House’s INSPIRE Act to replace MAEP

By: Frank Corder - March 25, 2024

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves explains to reporters some of the line items that he vetoed from the appropriations allocated by the state Legislature, Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

  • “We must fund students, not systems. And we must keep tax dollars where they are most impactful — in the classroom,” Governor Tate Reeves said on Monday.

Governor Tate Reeves threw his support behind the House’s effort to replace the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) on Monday, saying in a social media post that the Investing in the Needs of Students to Prioritize, Impact and Reform Education Act, or INSPIRE, would fund students and not systems.

“I’m glad to see that the Mississippi House passed the INSPIRE Act,” Governor Reeves said. “The House obviously recognizes and has made a strong statement that, if we want to continue our already impressive progress, the next step is to have a funding model that funds each individual kid — focusing on that individual kid. Not on the district office, not on the school or even on the administrators….but on the kids!”

The House overwhelmingly passed the INSPIRE Act by a vote of 95-13 earlier this month. The legislation now awaits consideration in the Senate, having been referred to both the Senate Education and Appropriations Committees. The double referral is a hurdle the House bill will have to clear if it is to be moved to the Senate floor for action.

Thus far, Senate leadership has not shown a willingness to move the INSPIRE Act forward. Instead, the chamber voted 49-0 on SB 2332 which makes tweaks to the current MAEP formula to provide additional funds of roughly $200 million.

The House’s INSPIRE Act is being touted as providing nearly $250 million in additional K-12 education funding.

READ MORE: INSPIRE Act to provide $250 million more in education funding

Governor Reeves said Monday that Mississippi has a lot to be proud of when it comes to education, from all-time high graduation rates to high-quality pre-Kindergarten. But to continue to see improved results and to maximize student potential, Reeves said the state must continue being strategic and targeted in its investments in education.

“We must fund students, not systems. And we must keep tax dollars where they are most impactful — in the classroom. That means focusing on students and teachers — not administrators and the status quo,” Reeves said in his social media post backing the INSPIRE Act.

Governor Reeves said the INSPIRE funding model will help fulfill the actual needs of Mississippi students as it will help students by directing additional funding based on their unique situation.

As previously reported by Magnolia Tribune, the House’s new INSPIRE formula focuses on using a weighted system of student funding starting with a base amount of $6,650 per pupil and adds percentages based on a variety of identified needs. 

“Those weight categories include low income, English learners, special education, gifted students, career tech education, concentrated poverty and sparsity,” Speaker Jason White outlined following the passage of the bill in the House. “This approach is more tailored to the exact students that the schools and districts actually serve. The formula is straight forward so schools and districts can easily calculate and predict their expected funding based on their enrollment.”

White shared Reeves’ endorsement of the INSPIRE Act on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday, saying, “Thank you, Tate Reeves, for your public support of the INSPIRE Act! The Mississippi House of Representatives has put forward a student-centered funding formula that prioritizes students over systems.”

Speaker White went on to say that with the passage of the INSPIRE Act, the House is committed to investing more money into our K-12 education system than ever before.

“I remain hopeful that the Senate will support a truly equitable and innovative method to approach education funding in Mississippi,” the Speaker said.

Governor Reeves thanked those House members “who are working tirelessly to find innovative solutions to develop a new funding model that focuses on what’s best for kids.”

“I hope the Senate will follow suit and tell the coalition of the status quo they won’t win every time,” the Governor concluded. “Let’s fund students — not systems —Mississippi!!”

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: