The Clarion-Ledger, 12/10/8

State education officials and lawmakers are continuing to talk about potentially controversial legislation affecting the state’s underperforming schools – particularly removing school board members and superintendents.

The discussion is aimed at educating legislators about the proposed Children First Act of 2009 before they come back in session in January, said House Education Committee Chairman Cecil Brown, D-Jackson.

The proposed bill is a collection of recommendations from the Task Force to Study Underperforming Schools and School Districts.

The recommendations, if enacted, would give the state Department of Education more authority to intervene in underperforming school districts and to provide more accountability for all school districts. Right now, the department can only step in when a district crashes and burns, state Superintendent Hank Bounds said.