Fourteen Mississippi school districts have sued the state, seeking money they say they were illegally shorted by the state’s public school funding formula over the last six years.
The suit, filed last month, also asks a judge to order lawmakers to never again underfund the Mississippi Adequate Educational Program.
State lawmakers have underfunded the formula by $1.5 billion since 2009. The districts say they’re owed $115 million. More districts could join the lawsuit, but those that don’t would not receive back money.
Backers of a ballot initiative to add a guarantee of “an adequate and efficient system of free public schools” to the state constitution have actively worked to persuade districts not to sue.
They warn lawmakers might react angrily by cutting funding.
A version of this article appeared in the September 10, 2014 edition of Education Week as 14 Miss. Districts Sue State Over Underfunding