Charter bill OK’d after closed meeting

The Senate Education Committee, one day after meeting behind closed doors with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves for more than an hour to discuss charter school legislation, took less than 20 minutes Tuesday to pass the bill.

The voice vote in favor of the charter school legislation was expected. Last year the Senate passed a similar bill allowing charter schools, which are publicly funded but exempt from many regulations governing traditional public schools.

Last year the legislation died in the House.

Like last year’s legislation, the bill passed by the Senate Education Committee and expected to be taken up by the full Senate today, is broad, allowing an unlimited number of charter schools statewide and creating a new governmental entity to approve them.