House Fails Children on Charter Schools-Paul Gallo

Representative Chuck Espy (D) Clarksdale, former Congressional candidate, stated this morning that as long as Congressman Benny Thompson holds the office he will not challenge him. Espy stated that, even though he felt he could be effective for the people of the 2nd District in Washington, another run against Thompson is not in the works.

I know of no other member of the Black Caucus who is more committed to education and more determined to break the status-quo. Espy is furious over the fact that fellow Caucus members and the House leadership failed in supporting a sound and progressive Charter School Bill. He stated this morning that Mississippi will lose any chance of applying for over $5 billion dollars.

Representative Espy did not mince words about his disappointment at everyone from McCoy to our Congressional delegation to former Supt. of Education Dr. Hank Bounds. With about $5.4 BILLION in additional educational funding and our General Revenue reaching the Red Zone, the Mississippi House of Representative’s failure to pass a Charter School Bill negates our chances of getting any part of those dollars.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant checked in on the topic with information about a recent visit to a Charter School in New Orleans. Both Bryant and Senator Michael Watson, (calling in on the road from VA) have assured us that there will be legislation introduced in January to try once again.

I ask Espy what would happen if Washington called and stated we have a check for a $5 million dollars for your Charter School Program? Espy stated that we would have to inform them that we “have no Charter School Program in Mississippi.”

Once again, the leadership of Speaker McCoy and his appointees, such as Chairman of Education Cecil Brown, have not disappointed us from our initial expectations. But for that, we can’t blame Representative Chuck Espy.

Paul Gallo
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