Mississippi's education voucher program, which subsidizes private-school tuition at the expense of public schools, could end next year after lawmakers allowed a bill to extend it to die in committee.
Three charter schools advanced to the final stage of the application process this month, and now an independent four-person evaluation team will review the full proposals from three groups looking to open charter schools in Canton, Drew and Clarksdale.
A group of parents with children in Jackson Public Schools challenged Mississippi's funding mechanism in the state's charter-school law in summer 2016, and this morning Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Dewayne Thomas heard oral arguments from several attorneys in the case.
In Dr. Freddrick Murray's view, Jackson Public Schools has to be proactive to get in front of the myriad problems the district faces, from decreasing enrollment and funding at most levels to maintaining the district's 60 schools and buildings with enough teachers, staff and maintenance.
Some parents in Mississippi who don't want to send their children to district schools or private schools have another option: charter schools. But as these publicly funded, privately run schools have proliferated across the nation, Mississippi's charter-school growth has been relatively sluggish. Only three charter schools exist in the state, all of which are in the Jackson area.
In a small room in the Jackson office of the Southern Poverty Law Center, challengers to the state's funding portion of the charter-school law spoke out about the negative impact they believe the schools have on their children's lives.
A conservative legal group is intervening in the Southern Poverty Law Center's lawsuit challenging the state's charter-school law.
When Josalyn Filkins sat down with the Jackson Free Press, she talked about her plans for the future of the school and for engaging with the community as Midtown tries to move forward amid potential litigation against the charter law, and as legislation opens the doors of the charter school to kids who don't live in Jackson.
On July 11, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of some Jackson parents against Gov. Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Department of Education and Jackson Public Schools, challenging a funding provision of the Mississippi Charter Schools Act.
Though Mississippi often ranks low among other states in education, the state got high marks recently from a national education group this month.
The Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board helped us factcheck some statements made in interviews about charter schools, including by Forest Thigpen in this issue and in the March 9 interview with Mississippi Association of Educators President Joyce Helmick.
Mississippi Center for Public Policy President Forest Thigpen insists that charter schools not only play fair in the state of Mississippi, but have the ability to change the game of Mississippi education by encouraging competition amongst public schools.
New charter schools are a money drain on Jackson Public Schools, the district's chief financial officer, Sharolyn Miller, warned Thursday.
When the Jackson Free Press sat down again with Joyce Helmick, president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, she repeatedly called charter schools "private charter schools."
Tuesday's Senate session rang with reprobation from Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, who spoke bitterly about Mississippi First, a group that he says acts as a front group for charter schools.
So far, only two charter schools operate in the state, but the Mississippi House and Senate Education Committees met yesterday in hot debate over the establishment of more.