Why would Mississippi students need those advantages and why would parents want those opportunities for their children when they already have a high performing school? I hope with charter school legislation such schools would be available, but grants and foundations that support nonprofits dedicated to charter schools typically seek a different geography.
It is that geography that likely motivates Espy to support charter schools. He knows just across the Mississippi River in the Arkansas Delta, students and parents are achieving in the KIPP Delta Public Schools – a charter school network.
Students are improving their grades above their regional peers, and in many subjects equaling or surpassing the state average.
Their ACT scores exceed the state and national average. As a result, not only are high school graduation rates increasing for these charter school students, but so is college admittance and attendance.
These public charter schools bring in additional funding beyond tax dollars to benefit students and create a community of learning. There are failures of course and they have not solved all the education problems of Arkansas. But because of charter schools in Arkansas, hundreds of students are getting a better education and have a brighter future in regards to college and career.
On our side of the Mississippi River, charter school opportunities do not exist in the Mississippi Delta and they will not for at least another year. That, according to the Mississippi Democratic leadership, is their principal success of the 2012 legislative session.
Madison County Journal