Gov. Bryant Signs Charter School Expansion Into Law

Governor Phil Bryant signed legislation today to provide parents with more school choice options by expanding access to charter schools in Mississippi.

Senate Bill 2161, which passed the Senate last week and the House the week prior, will allow students in school districts rated “C,” “D,” or “F” to cross district lines to attend a charter school. Currently, students are only allowed to attend a charter school in the district in which they reside.

By allowing students to cross district lines, charter schools will now be able to open in high-need areas, such as the Delta, where the small size of many of the school districts has made the creation of a charter school virtually impossible.

The new law will also:
?Permit employees to participate in PERS and other benefits programs. Currently this is not available.
?Allow for conversion charters to purchase or lease the school building from the local school district at market value. Currently this is not available.

Mississippi passed the original charter school law in 2013, more than 20 years after the nation’s first charter school opened in Minnesota. Today, charter schools are serving nearly three million students in 43 states plus the District of Columbia. The first two charter schools in Mississippi- Reimagine Prep and Midtown Public Charter School- opened last year in Jackson with two additional charter schools authorized to open in the fall.

EmpowerMS
4/14/16