House-Senate talks warm up on charter school bills

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi lawmakers are trying to resolve differences between House and Senate versions of bills expanding charter schools in the state.

The Senate Education Committee took up the proposal Thursday that the House passed Jan. 24, amending it to mirror the Senate-passed plan.

Oxford Republican Gray Tollison, chairman of the committee, says House and Senate leaders are discussing disagreements.

Rep. Charles Busby, a Pascagoula Republican who has managed the House’s proposal, says issues include whether school boards in districts with “C” ratings will be able to veto charter schools and whether students will be able to cross district lines to attend charter schools elsewhere.

Also at issue are whether for-profit companies will be allowed to run charter schools and whether schools will be able to join the state pension system.