The public charter schools bill that is most likely to be debated in the Senate, SB2401, has been introduced.
The bill has many of the problems we anticipated, and it needs to be amended so that it has the intended effect: to improve student achievement and provide good options for kids who are trapped in chronically underperforming schools.
A strong public charter school bill will:
- Restrict charters to chronically underperforming school districts - we cannot afford to create more schools - more administrators, more buildings, more overhead - in places where we already have excellent public schools
- Prohibit virtual charter schools - in other states, virtual charter school managers have pocketed a fortune - in state tax dollars - while moving student achievement backward! Read about it here
- Require a proven track record of success from charter school management organizations - we can't afford to waste scarce state dollars on inexperienced "mom and pop" charter organizers who don't know what they are doing
- Ensure that for-profit companies cannot run charter schools (the bill has a loophole that will allow this)
Read more about The Parents' Campaign's position on public charter schools - how we think they could help move Mississippi forward. Mississippi needs charter school legislation that will attract high-performing public charter schools into chronically underperforming districts - and avoid moving us backward.
This bill has the potential to help us make great strides in student achievement. If done poorly, however, it could take us backward.