SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE EXPANDS SCHOOL CHOICE FOR STUDENTS

JACKSON – Legislation allowing more children to take advantage of school choice passed the Senate Education Committee today, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said.

Senate Bill 2161 updates the public charter school law by allowing students to cross school district lines to attend a public charter school. The bill, sponsored by Education Chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, will help rural areas, including the Mississippi Delta, attract educational options for students.

“The opportunities available through public charter schools should be open to all of Mississippi, not only heavily populated cities,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “Allowing students to cross district boundaries will build capacity for schools in areas like the Mississippi Delta, where parents need options for their children.”

Currently, Mississippi has two public charter schools in Jackson. Both schools have waiting lists for enrollment due to overwhelming interest from parents and students.

Public charter schools successfully operate in several rural communities, including the Arkansas Delta and in Tennessee.

The bill allows employees of public charter school to participate in the Public Employees’ Retirement System. It also disallows school boards of C-rated districts from limiting educational options for students.

2/17/16