In interviews during the opening week of the 2013 session with 20 Northeast Mississippi legislators, a majority said they would support charter schools in poor-performing districts, but not in other areas without the approval of local school boards.
“We have good schools for the most part in Northeast Mississippi,” said Rep. Donnie Bell, R-Fulton. “If you want to look at charter schools in failing school districts, that is fine.
“If several years from now, we see some trends where charter schools are really successful, then we might want to open it up. But right now, I don’t think we should bother the schools that are excelling.”
Charter schools operate outside much of the regulation governing traditional public schools, though they do receive public funding. Currently, state law allows parents to convert chronically poor-performing public schools to charter schools under certain circumstances.