Senate Votes on Charter Bill

Posted 4/7/16

Today, the Senate narrowly voted to concur with the House version of SB 2161, the charter school bill that allows students in districts rated C, D, and F to cross district lines to attend charter schools. The vote was 24-21, with seven senators not voting.

Educators tell us they fear that districts now rated A and B will be jeopardized by this bill due to changes in state tests and the accountability rating system. Read more about these changes.

There was significant debate, with numerous senators expressing deep concerns about the bill's potential to weaken great public schools. Freshman Senator Chad McMahan of Tupelo spoke eloquently from the podium in support of the public schools in his district and against the charter school bill. In closing, he said, "When public education was in its darkest hour, I want the journal to reflect that I stood with public education."

Please thank the 21 senators who had the courage and foresight to vote against this bill. Please also contact the others and remind them of the consequences of legislation that siphons resources away from strong public schools. See the vote here.

Ask the senators in your school district to vote to reconsider their vote on SB 2161 and to send the bill to conference so that C districts can be removed from anything having to do with charter schools.

Find phone, email, and social media contact information for the senators in your school district.

Capitol switchboard: 601.359.3770

Share the same message with Lt. Governor Reeves: 601.359.3200

SB 2161 is harmful to all students. It threatens to weaken good schools by siphoning away state and local funding. It also lessens the chance that students in chronically under-performing public schools will have a spot in a strong charter school, by opening those seats to students from public schools that are performing well.

Make sure that the senators in your district understand that their votes have a real impact on our children, and that every single vote is critical. Thank you for standing firmly with our children in support of their public schools and for believing that every child deserves a shot at a bright future! Let your senator hear from you today.

If you value the efforts of The Parents' Campaign and would like for our work to continue, please support us with a donation.