Wicker, Hyde-Smith have supported similar efforts on the federal level.

The Mississippi Legislature faces a deadline to pass general bills originating in their own chamber. Before both chambers met Wednesday morning, Mississippi Statewatch reported that the Senate had 71 items on the general bill calendar remaining and the House has 87 on its calendar.

One of the items still remaining on the House calendar is HB 1349, authored by State Rep. Jansen Owen (R). The legislation seeks to create the Transfer Mississippi Act, allowing children to attend the school of their choice in any Mississippi school district.

The bill would remove the requirement for the school board of the school district of a child’s residence to consent to the release of the student for transfer to another school. It only requires that the transferee school board approve or refuse the transfer of a student upon receiving notice and an official meeting of the board to act on such transfer.

The bill also provides that the “school board of the child’s residence has been put on notice of the petition for transfer when the school board secretary or president receives such petition from the parent or legal guardian of the student to be transferred.”

The House bill is similar to a resolution that U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) have supported in D.C. That resolution recognizes the necessity of school choice as a tool to empower all parents with the freedom to choose the best educational environment for their children and to combat destructive ideologies like Critical Race Theory promoted by many public schools.

“Parents have a fundamental right to shape their children’s education, and school choice is an important way to exercise that right,” Senator Wicker said. “Our children and future leaders deserve the best educational opportunities available, no matter their circumstances. At a time when public education is under siege from far-left identity politics and heavy-handed school closures, empowering parents to choose where their children go to school is all the more vital in developing the next generation of Americans.”

Senator Hyde-Smith agreed, adding that Mississippi and the nation needs to strengthen to options available to parents of school children.

“With these resolutions, we promote the benefits of school choice and the need to strengthen the options available to families in Mississippi and across the nation. Parents should be allowed to direct their children to schools that best suit their needs, particularly as they weigh the stresses placed on education by the pandemic, the overt or covert introduction of controversial ideologies like Critical Race Theory, and intrusive government mandates,” Senator Hyde-Smith said.

The Mississippi House bill remains on the House general bill calendar and will either pass or fail by Thursday’s deadline.