BRIAN PERRY / School choice

Respondents favored charter schools by 57 percent with the same number supporting a statewide charter opportunity over just failing school districts. Voters also supported educational scholarship accounts at a 56 percent rate with 58 percent believing they should be available to all students and not just specific populations.

In releasing the poll, Empower President Grant Callen said, “There are 115,000 Mississippi students trapped in failing districts that desperately need a way out. I hope this will be the year that the legislature makes education options available to all families.”

Governor Phil Bryant expressed support for school choice in his inaugural address this month, “it should be a parent’s right, not just a privilege by income or social status, to take his or her hard earned tax dollars and send their child to a school they choose. Unfortunately, there are some who are content with keeping children trapped in failing schools. We should heed the lessons of history and not stand in the school house doorway and resist school choice in the name of district integrity, or average daily attendance. I see little difference when a parent’s power to choose is taken away, whether by a school board or an offensive state law. If it is good for the child and preferred by the parents, let it be done.”

Madison County Journal