The Mississippi Legislative PEER Committee has released its annual report, FY 2019 Annual Report: Analysis of Funding for Mississippi Charter Schools and the Charter School Authorizer Board, assessing the sufficiency of funding for charter schools, the efficacy of the state formula for authorizer funding, and any suggested changes in state law or policy necessary to strengthen the state’s charter schools.
Some of the Committee’s major findings include:
- Mississippi currently has five charter schools in operation. Of the three charter schools that had students eligible for state testing, all of the schools improved in their academic performance from FY 2018 to FY 2019, as follows
- Midtown Public: F to D
- Reimagine Prep: C to B
- Smilow Prep: D to C
- In accordance with state law, the Mississippi Department of Education distributed MAEP funding to charter schools at the same amounts it provided MAEP funding (before add-on program costs) to the school districts in which those charter schools were located.
- FY 2019 was the first year that the state funding formula for the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board (MCSAB) provided enough funds to cover the operations of the board.
- The MCSAB is significantly behind in expending its federal Charter Schools Program grant to expand charter schools and increase student enrollment in the schools.
- In its oversight of the Charter Schools Program grant, the MCSAB engaged in poor contracting practices.
- During FY 2019, the MCSAB paid a contractor $137,500 without requiring submission of documentation of the work performed. In addition, the MCSAB inappropriately expended $1,069 for the travel expenses of a job candidate.