By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – House and Senate leaders reached agreement late Monday on charter schools – about 15 minutes before the 8 p.m. deadline.
Agreements also were reached on numerous other education issues, ranging from establishing a pre-kindergarten program to making superintendents in small districts appointed unless citizens vote to keep an elected superintendent.
Charter schools has been the most contentious education issue still alive. Lt. Gov., Tate Reeves had advocated a proposal where school boards in A and B districts could veto a charter school locating within their boundaries.
But the House negotiators insisted that school boards in C districts also have veto authority. Late Monday, Reeves and his Senate negotiators accepted the House position
“Though we hoped for a bill that would not send the message that ‘C’ was OK, we agreed to compromise to give 125,000 Mississippi children an opportunity for success,” Reeves said.
Charter schools receive public funds, but do not have to adhere to many of the guidelines and governance of traditional schools.
Proposals advocated by Gov. Phil Bryant, such as tougher standards for teachers, an enhanced literacy effort in the early grades, also were agreed to Monday.
Those issues will be voted on today and Wednesday by the full Legislature.