Mississippi charter school board considers hiring executive director

JACKSON, Mississippi — Mississippi’s Charter School Authorizer Board could hire its first executive director next month after discussing applications in closed session Thursday.

Board members say they received 38 applications from as far away as Hawaii, and voted to interview finalists at their August meeting. No names of finalists were disclosed during the meeting Thursday. Until now, the five board members, with the help of consultants, have been running the agency.

Mississippi lawmakers in 2013 created the board when they passed an expanded law allowing charter schools — public schools run by private groups that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for less regulation.

The board also voted to start the second cycle of applications after approving one charter school in the first round. They say they plan to call for applications on July 15, with applicants submitting letters announcing their intent to apply on Aug. 15. Full applications would be due Sept. 15, with the board voting on applicants in December.