Virtual charter schools plan cut

The Mississippi Senate is expected today to debate a bill to expand charter schools in the state, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday, hours after the bill was approved in committee.

Members of the Senate Education Committee sent the bill forward after removing a provision to allow online charter schools.

The committee also agreed to an amendment Tuesday that would let charter schools sponsor pre-kindergarten programs, although no state money is now provided for students 4 and younger.

No other amendments were offered, though some committee members and others continue to say they want to allow school boards in districts that are rated “successful” to get a say in whether charter schools are established. As drafted, the bill allows only “high performing” or “star” districts, the two highest ratings on the state scale, to get a veto over potential charter schools.