Hall – Bryant open to various charter school options

Gov. Phil Bryant was on the Paul Gallo Radio Show this morning talking about a variety of topics from Medicaid expansion to health insurance exchanges to his upcoming education policy announcement on Friday.

On the latter, he gave a brief preview of what we could expect, including charter schools. He clearly favors charter schools, and he was trying to allay fears of “private school takeovers” if a charter bill is passed. Bryant said that most of the charter schools he has seen are in largely rural areas and predominantly majority African American districts. He dismissed the idea that charter schools would be used to provide majority white private schools in majority black districts — which I think is a pretty unfounded argument against charter schools as well.

But what was most interesting — and quite the departure from the regular talking points on charter schools — is that the governor seemed to advocate a pilot program over a full-fledged charter school bill.

Bryant said that we didn’t need a my-way-or-no-way mentality in discussing charter schools, which I took to be addressed to charter school opponents who don’t want charter schools anywhere. He then went on to say that we don’t have to go all-or-nothing with the debate.

Clarion Ledger
Sam Hall