Gay Students' Rights
Gov. Phil Bryant swiftly signed HB 1523, or the "Freedom of Conscience of Religion Act," into law on April 5. Much criticism raised the bill's potential impact on Mississippi's businesses, but legal scholars and policy analysts also worry about its impact on LGBTQ children in Mississippi's public and private schools. Critics warn that the state's schools could see the loss of federal funding if the law discriminates against students on the basis of sex.
Charter School Expansion
On April 7 the Senate voted to concur on the MS Charter Schools Act with a vote of 24-21. If the legislation becomes law, students who live in C, D and F districts will now be able to attend charter schools, both of which for now operate in Jackson, Mississippi.
The legislation would also ensure that the tax revenue attached to the student who leaves their public school district for a charter school would follow that student to the charter.
Now that Gov. Bryant has signed SB 2438 into law, Mississippians are past the days of voting for their school district superintendents. With the law, signed Monday, April 11, now mandating that school-board members appoint superintendents, Mississippi joins most other states in the practice. Currently serving superintendents who gained their position by election will continue to serve in that capacity until they complete their four-year term in office.
Sierra Mannie is an education reporting fellow for the Jackson Free Press and The Hechinger Report. Read more at jfp.ms/education.