A new bill in the state Senate would let students cross district lines to attend charter schools.
The bill, discussed Thursday in the Senate Education Committee, would send local tax money along with the student to any charter school, even if the charter school is in another public school district.
Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, said his Senate Bill 2401 would set the stage for innovative approaches to improve Mississippi’s schools. A new seven-member commission would approve applications and oversee operations of the schools, meant to achieve better academic performance in exchange for freedom from regulation. The governor, lieutenant governor and state superintendent of education, would appoint two members apiece, and one member would be appointed by the state higher education commissioner.
Many advocates had proposed allowing the state Department of Education to license and regulate charter schools, but national advocates encouraged Tollison to set up the independent commission. He said traditional leaders aren’t equipped to allow the flexibility a good charter school needs.