Mississippi Senate revives charter school proposal

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate has revived charter school legislation, giving new life to a key Republican proposal this session.

Senators on Wednesday voted 31-19 to amend an existing bill to include language that would broaden the state’s current restrictive language for creating charter schools.

The measure, House Bill 1152, now goes to the House, where an earlier proposal died in committee.

The full House will have to vote to either send the Senate plan to conference or approve it, without possibility of floor amendments.

Charter schools are public schools that agree to meet certain standards in exchange for freedom from typical state regulations. Proponents say the restructuring can help improve struggling schools in Mississippi. Opponents fear charter schools will skim motivated students and money from traditional public schools.

Miss. Senate roll call on charter schools bill

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Senate, on a 31-19 vote Wednesday, amended a bill to revive a plan to broaden charter schools in Mississippi.

A yes vote was a vote for the proposal, while a no vote was a vote against it.

Voting yes were 29 Republicans and 2 Democrats. Voting no were 1 Republican and 18 Democrats. One Republican and one Democrat did not vote.

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Republicans voting yes (29)

Brown, Columbus; Burton, Newton; Carmichael, Meridian; Chassaniol, Winona; Clarke, Hollandale; Collins, Tupelo; Doty, Brookhaven; Fillingane, Sumrall; Flowers, Southaven; Gandy, Waynesboro; Gollott, Biloxi; Harkins, Flowood; Hill, Picayune; Hopson, Vicksburg; Hudson, Hattiesburg; G. Jackson, French Camp; Kirby, Pearl; Lee, Mendenhall; Longwitz, Madison; McDaniel, Ellisville; Moran, Kiln; Parks, Corinth; Polk, Hattiesburg; Smith, Picayune; Sojourner, Natchez; Tindell, Biloxi; Tollison, Oxford; Ward, Louisville; Wiggins; Pascagoula.

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Democrats voting yes (2)

Browning, Pontotoc; Montgomery, Bay Springs.

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Republican voting no (1)

Massey, Nesbit.

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Democrats voting no (18)

Blount, Jackson; Bryan, Amory; A. Butler, Port Gibson; K. Butler, McComb; Dawkins, Pass Christian; Frazier, Jackson; Hale, Senatobia; Harden, Jackson; Horhn, Jackson; R. Jackson, Marks; S. Jackson, DeKalb; Jones, Canton; Jordan, Greenwood; D. Simmons, Greenville; W. Simmons, Cleveland; Stone, Ashland; Turner, West Point; Wilemon, Belmont.

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Note: Jolly, D-Houston, who opposed the bill, did not vote on it. Instead, he paired his vote with Watson, R-Pascagoula, who supported the bill but was absent. Pairing allows senators to record their positions without their vote being counted.