Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hope comes to the Delta. Charter school expansion bill passes.

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves issued the following press release:


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.


Anonymous said...

Cue the education establishment crowd in 3... 2... 1...

Anonymous said...

Who will transport them across district lines in the delta? Bennie Thompson gonna come thru finally? 95% of them ride the bus. There is no obligation of the state or district to transport them.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

What about the teachers in our communities who need these jobs? What about all of the local people who will be affected? What happens to our schools when the best and brightest students leave?
This wasn't a problem until the Delta started getting African American superintendents. Now all of a sudden we need to cut administration. They spend their money in our communities. Tate Reeves needs to think about the children.

Anonymous said...

Who better than walmart to fix the schools?

Anonymous said...

Good news! This isn't a panacea, but it will make a difference in the lives of thousands of children over time.

Anonymous said...

Bennie Thompson gonna come thru finally?

Has he ever?

Anonymous said...

What happens to our schools when the best and brightest students leave?

What happens when the best and brightest are forced to stay in an environment of total abject failure? Answer THAT.

Anonymous said...

They aren't the "best and brightest". They are chosen by lottery and this is another example of the apologists for the status quo....which is not working.

Anonymous said...

ah the delta. just like ward 3, a 'drag' on mississippi's statistics. poverty, teen pregnancy, and drugs. 80% of the delta.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:49

Those jobs are open to any teacher who wishes to apply. As a public school teacher, I am thrilled to see the expansion of charter schools in our state. The perpetually broken public school system needs competition, and students in bad districts need some option to help them succeed.

All of those who are a part of the education establishment who cry "the sky is falling" are just looking out for their own interests. They don't really care about the students.

Anonymous said...

@3:49 - the education programs of the state of mississippi are not designed for the benefit of the teachers whose jobs are involved. They are created, funded and run for the benefit of the students. Your questions are one of the major reasons for the problems - thinking that the reason for the schools is to keep the teachers and the administrators in a job.'

As to what happens when the "best and brightest" leave, these charter schools are open to anyone - not the 'best and brightest. But if a kid and his/her parents want to give them a fighting chance by getting them out of a failing school into a different environment and that causes problems for the failing school - then so be it. Let's close down that failing school and establish something that works - with the definition of 'works' being educating our children; not providing jobs for teachers and the community.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait until we have a full blown voucher system and the segregation academies squirm when blacks start wanting in.

Anonymous said...

Bennie Thompson doesn't want charter schools or better public schools in his district. As long as he can "keep da man down", he will keep being re-elected. The worse the delta gets, the higher his votes are.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Thats why they make "boarding schools."

Anonymous said...

Whether they are in the Delta, Jackson, or New Orleans, charter schools have the same formula for success that the public schools have. The parents who care enough to seek out opportunity and support their children in an effort to get a better education, generally produce the better students. If you get the better students you have a better school. If charter schools had to take the others whose parents have given up or don't give a damn, they would be no better than any other public school, maybe not as good. Just ask any good public school teacher (some do exist) how good their school could be if they didn't have to waste time with the children of uncaring, unsupportive parents. Some are actually doing a better job than you think!

Anonymous said...

Sorry MEA member at 9:38. While it is true that the students that have interested and involved parents have a much better opportunity to gain a good education when it is offered - albeit in a charter or in a traditional public - those that don't even have the opportunity for a charter are stuck in the traditional public. If they are lucky enough to have a good one, with good teachers (and yes, they do exist) they do well. The purpose of this option is to give an opportunity to those whose parents care and don't have the good traditional school available (and yes, they exist also.)

Charters don't diminish the good traditional schools - yet the traditional publics diminish ANY other alternative, thinking that they should be the only thing available.

I accept your premise about the good public schools with the good teachers. What is your answer for the terrible traditional public schools with the terrible teachers? Let those poor kids (who have interested and involved parents) sit in the room, suffering with no education being offered, only to save the tradition and not challenge the system?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see these private school getting the state pension. It is only 60% funded, and we will have to raise taxes to pay for the 40% for all, including these new teachers.

Anonymous said...

Education only works for those who want it.

Anonymous said...

11:32 - you just hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head....That is the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

11:12; What the hell are you talking about? Public taxes have never been, and never will be, 'raised' to pay for the 'state pension' system.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait until we have a full blown voucher system and the segregation academies squirm when blacks start wanting in.

Which metro area private schools do you still consider "segregation academies"? Name some names.

Anonymous said...

9:08 - I was mainly referring to Delta schols, but I'd consider MRA, JA, Prep, ERA all segregation academies. All around 95% white.

Anonymous said...

9:04, people will finally just leave the State of Mississippi as a place to live when everything that us used to protect their children right to learn is taken away. Just use Jackson an a example and apply it state wide.

Anonymous said...

9:08 I can't speak for the other schools on your list, but Jackson Prep just hired a Diversity Officer so you can just check them off your list. What's your cutoff number? St. Andrews is 72% white. Do they make your list?

Anonymous said...

I just hope that, unlike in some other Red states, that when the unbiased evidence comes starts pouring in, the TPs and GOPs will have the courage to find out why charter schools didn't work.
Of course, our legislatures could have done that to start by studying the how charter schools were structured in the states that already had them.
But, that would have required actually reading rather than talking to lobbyists or having leadership tell them that doing anything, no matter how poorly done, was politically expedient.

Anonymous said...

11:05 pm The rather obvious answer to your justifiable question is for state legislatures to restructure public education and teacher requirements so that the quality of a school isn't dependent on the wealth of its location!

In those states with poor teachers, one thing that can be done is to fast track people who have PhDs and Master's degrees in science or math or foreign languages or music or art identified subject areas to teacher certification. You pick up retirees and stay at home mothers that way.

You can also raise the minimum requirements for teachers.

But, the truth is that even in private schools, you get non-qualified teachers based on who knows whom and how good of a coach they are.

The legislature can also fund structured residential and out patient treatment programs for children with special needs or emotional problems so they aren't holding back or disrupting a classroom.

Coaches At The Chalk-Boards said...

But, the truth is that even in private schools, you get non-qualified teachers based on who knows whom and how good of a coach they are.

What a nutty comment. What percent of classroom teachers are coaches? Maybe one percent? Maybe less?

Teacher licensing is pretty rigorous. Teacher personnel with a masters level, or higher, degree have spent seven or more years in the process of gaining their credentials.

I'll let YOU go around and gather up a bunch of people with "PhDs and Master's degrees in science or math or foreign languages" and drop them into poorly performing schools. Many of those folks you'll find are already in the classrooms of private, parochial and high-performing schools across the state.

Otherwise, your absurd post is, well, still absurd.

Anonymous said...

"Glad to see these private school getting the state pension. It is only 60% funded, and we will have to raise taxes to pay for the 40% for all, including these new teachers."

Your post would be relevant if it only contained a smidgen of truth and/or fact. Charter schools are NOT private schools. They are public schools - just a different model.

The pension fund is only partially funded but your 60% is not close.

The pension fund will never be fully funded ; they are not designed with a '100% funding' intent.

Taxes have never been raised in an attempt to raise the funding of the pension fund.

These students came out of other public schools. If you need 'x' teachers for 'y' students, and the number of students stays the same(y) but some go to another location - you still only need 'x' teachers. So the total number of teachers required in the public school system (which includes charters) should remain the same. So the only question is - which teachers are still employed and where they are teaching.

Of course, we all recognize that certain schools systems (i.e. JPS)consider their system to be an employment agency rather than an organization operated to educate children and will probably do nothing to reduce the number of people employed teaching the chilluns. But that is not a problem with the charters, its a problem with the traditional public school systems.

Anonymous said...

11:28 - Charters are working well in many other states (Red and not). Sure, some have not done as expected - and the great thing is, they can be shut down and taxpayers won't have their hard earned money spent on taxes used to continue operating a bad system. Unlike our public school system is without charters.

Your theory is grounded in the opposite 'lobbyists' that you refer to. Ms Loome and her minions wining and dining the legislators pass around misleading information about charters to protect their own arse. They can find one or two bad systems and say - 'lookie here; see! Charters are bad. We are the only thing. Continue following the yellow brick road.'

For every charter you want to bring up (with specifics) I'll show you ten that have good results. Using unbiased evaluations. You want to take on the challenge, start with your first list and I'll match it with ten for each one you give.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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