Mississippi Senate Passes Charter School Bill that Gives Parents and School Districts True Choice

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, April 12, 2012

Charter School Legislation on way to House for vote.

The Mississippi State Senate today approved much-needed education reform by passing legislation to allow public charter schools to operate in the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves announced.

The Senate amended House Bill 1152 to allow public charter schools to open in Mississippi with approval from a newly created independent commission. The bill, which passed 31-19, heads to the Mississippi House.

Public charter schools will be funded with existing dollars from the federal, state and local levels. The funds within the current Mississippi Adequate Education Program will follow a student to their school of choice.

“It’s time to change the status quo and give parents a choice in their children’s education,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “For far too long, we have had students trapped in failing districts with no options for a better education. This legislation can change that.”

Public charter schools could be allowed in any district in the state. However, the local school boards of districts rated as “star” or “high performing” by the state Department of Education also would have to give a stamp of approval to any charter school seeking to open within those top districts. The bill is similar to a plan approved by the Senate in February. However, this version allows school boards of districts rated as “successful” also to approve charter schools over the next four academic years.

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