LEGISLATURE EXPANDS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
JACKSON – Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves today praised the passage of a bill allowing more Mississippi students to access public charter schools to expand their educational opportunities. Senate Bill 2161 heads to Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk for consideration.
The legislation updates the public charter school law by allowing students in C-, D- or F-rated school districts to cross district boundaries to attend public charter schools. The bill, sponsored by Education Chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, will make Mississippi’s rural areas attractive to public charter schools and provide more options for parents and students.
“This is another step in ensuring that every child in Mississippi has an opportunity for success in life,” Lt. Gov. Reeves said. “This bill should open up the possibility of public charter schools in smaller districts in the Delta and other small struggling districts throughout our state. I appreciate the work of the Legislature to get this done.”
By allowing students to cross district lines, public charter schools will be able to open in rural areas and attract enough students to operate efficiently. The bill allows employees of public charter schools to participate in the Public Employees’ Retirement System.
Currently, Mississippi has two public charter schools in Jackson. Both schools have waiting lists for enrollment due to overwhelming interest from parents and students. Public charter schools successfully operate in several rural communities, including the Arkansas Delta and in Tennessee.