Miss. Bill: Charter School Overhaul

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A new bill in the Mississippi Senate would let students cross district lines to attend charter schools.

The bill, which was discussed Thursday in the Senate Education Committee, would send local tax money along with the student to any charter school, even if the charter school is in another public school district.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, said his Senate Bill 2401 would set the stage for innovative approaches to improve Mississippi’s schools.

“This is not the silver bullet,” he told the committee. “This is a tool, an option we do not have.”

A new seven-member commission would approve applications and oversee operations of the schools, meant to achieve better academic performance in exchange for freedom from regulation. Two members apiece would be appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and state superintendent of education, while one member would be appointed by the state higher education commissioner.

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