JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant today signed into law a broad package of education reforms outlined in his Education Works agenda. The measures will enable charter schools to open for the first time in Mississippi, place a command focus on early childhood literacy, and implement a simple, student-achievement based school grading formula to accompany the A-F labels Mississippi implemented in 2012.
“Governor Bryant and state legislators acted boldly for Mississippi’s children,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, founder and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd). “They are paving the way for an education transformation through reforms such as school choice, ending social promotion and providing intensive remediation for third grade students who struggle to read, and grading schools using a clear, transparent formula. These reforms, if implemented well, will reorganize Magnolia State schools around what matters most – student learning.”
The policy receiving the most attention and debate was House Bill 369, which broadens current law to allow for the creation of charter schools in Mississippi. Charter schools approved by a newly-formed State Authorizing Board may open in failing school districts, and A-, B- or C-graded districts may choose to veto the creation of charter schools within their boundaries.