Charter schools hearing stalls with vote in doubt

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A Mississippi House Education Committee vote on a charter schools bill will wait until Thursday.

Wednesday’s committee meeting ended abruptly without a vote, with the chairman promising to meet again Thursday. Some Democrats the Republican majority lacked votes to pass the bill

The panel rolled out changes to Senate Bill 2401, which would expand charter schools in Mississippi. Proponents say the alternative public schools promise improved performance in exchange for freedom from regulations. Opponents fear a dual school system that drains money from traditional public schools.

The new House version allows school districts with state ratings of successful, high performing or star to reject charter schools. That means 82 of the state’s 152 school districts could opt out. Students from anywhere could cross district lines to attend charter schools.