Bill proposes Miss. charter school overhaul

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A new bill in the Mississippi Senate would let students cross district lines to attend charter schools.

The bill also would send local tax money along with the student to any charter school, even if the charter school is in another district.

A new commission would approve applications and oversee operations of the schools, meant to achieve better academic performance in exchange for freedom from regulation.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, an Oxford Republican, says his Senate Bill 2401 would set the stage for innovative approaches to improve Mississippi’s schools.

Critics question whether the state should allow charter schools as widely as Tollison proposes. Nancy Loome, head of the Parents’ Campaign, says that with scarce money, Mississippi needs to limit charter schools to areas where schools are chronically failing.