House panel favors broader charter schools bill

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A charter school bill moving forward in the Mississippi House is more expansive than the one passed last week by the state Senate.

The bill, passed Monday by a House subcommittee, would not only create a new board to approve charter schools, but would allow any of the state’s 152 local boards to approve charters in their districts. It would also allow the Mississippi Department of Education to convert existing schools to charters.

Sponsored by House Education Committee Chairman John Moore, a Brandon Republican, House Bill 888 would allow online charter schools, unlike the Senate version, which bans them. The House bill would not allow any local district to veto a charter approved by one of the statewide boards, and would exempt all teachers and administrators from state licensing requirements.