The Mississippi House of Representatives is expected to be voting THIS WEEK on House Bill 888, the Public Charter School bill. It is scheduled to be considered Wednesday in committee and could come before the full House of Representatives as early as THIS THURSDAY.

The opponents of charter schools are working diligently to stop the push for school choice. They are pressuring legislators to vote against this bill, or to amend it in ways that severely weaken it. Your Representatives need to hear from folks who support more public school options for Mississippi families!

Please contact your Representative today and urge him or her to VOTE YES on House Bill 888, the Public Charter Schools bill!

Don’t Keep Charter Schools From So-Called “Successful” Districts

Some opponents of charter schools are pushing an amendment that would keep charter schools out of “successful” districts. In the first place, even in truly successful districts, there are students who are not succeeding. In many cases, the smaller setting, the unique focus, the stronger discipline of a charter school could help those students excel. Parents of those students should not be prohibited from sending their children to a nearby charter school.

But even if you disagree with that viewpoint, it is important to know that a rating of “Successful” by the State Department of Education doesn’t mean a school or district is actually successful. In fact, 44 percent of schools rated “Successful” scored in the bottom half of achievement scores. There are two districts rated “Successful” that have NO schools that are rated that high. For more on this topic, go to http://mspolicy.org/mcpp_reports/mcpp_reports_view.php?entryID=311

Charter schools should be allowed in any district where there is sufficient demand. And that demand should be measured by parents’ interest, not by the predictions of district leaders who fear competition.

KEY POINTS ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS:
• A charter school is a public school that is created to meet students’ educational needs in unique ways.
• Charter public schools are given freedom from some rules and regulations that traditional public schools have to follow. In exchange for that freedom, a charter school is held to a high standard of achievement and accountability.
• If a charter school succeeds, it continues to operate; if it does not succeed, it closes.
• No students or teachers are assigned to a charter school by a school district. Parents choose to send their children, and teachers choose whether to apply to a charter school to teach there.
• Charter schools should be allowed everywhere and not limited to the worst performing districts.

MCPP Release
2/27/12